OED Birthday Word Generator

I discovered this while doing some etymology research on the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) site. Through my affiliation with Eastern Michigan University I have access as a subscriber. But when I headed over to the blog and found out you could access it there too, I knew I had to share it with you.  It allows you to discover what words entered the Oxford English Dictionary in the year of your birth. Although to be honest I checked out every year!

When you arrive it will be a blog article so scroll down the page and read about the generator if you like. You’ll see that subscribers can access this from within the site, but so can you with the interface beneath the article. 

By default it is set to 1900. Use the dates across the top to change decades, and the dates along the left side to change years. So if you go over to the 1980s, you’ll see all the words for that year: smart phone, text messaging, spell-check, mono-brow, BOGOF, app, road rage, turducken, and ecotourism. Then if you click 1982 on the side (my birth year) you’ll get a single entry, in this case: downloadable. Then entry includes the part of speech it is and it’s definition. 

Overall, I think this is a really cool and personal way to look at language since you’re being motivated to check out what was happening linguistically in the year you arrived on the planet!



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