How Does a Word Get Added to the Oxford Dictionary?

by Vinaya HS on December 17, 2006

in General Stuff

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From the AskOxford FAQ:

How do you decide if a new word should go in an Oxford dictionary?

We conduct a Reading Programme to collect examples of words in use. If we have enough examples to show that a word has genuinely achieved currency, then we add it to our list of candidates for inclusion, and the editors research its usage and draft an entry. The general rule of thumb for the OED is that any word can be included which appears five times, in five different printed sources, over a period of five years. Oxford’s smaller dictionaries of current English may include words with a shorter history.

Once a word has come to our attention, we will investigate sources such as film scripts or transcripts of broadcasts if they are available and seem likely to add to our knowledge of the word’s origin.




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