Oxford English Dictionary appeals for stamp slang words

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13 August 2018
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Do you know your Wildings from your Machins and your se-tenants from your Cinderellas? If so, the team behind the Oxford English Dictionary want to hear from you.

To celebrate the OED’s ninetieth birthday, the publishers of the famous dictionary are asking for collectors and philatelists to help expand the dictionary’s coverage of the language of hobbies. 

The special website set up to accept submissions states:

‘You know that feeling you get when you’re telling someone about your favourite hobby… but every other word you use is greeted with a blank look? Doesn’t everyone know what a fat quarter, a heel turn, or an ear dipper is? Maybe not, but if a term is in common use within a particular community then it is a candidate for inclusion in the OED, and we would love to hear about it! That’s why we’re asking for your help in identifying and recording the vocabulary of all your hobbies and pastimes.’

Of particular interest to the language experts are slang words and phrases (as opposed to more technical terms) as these are much harder to trace in print and so are less likely to have come to the attention of dictionary editors. 

Publicist Kate Shepherd told allaboutstamps:

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‘We would love readers to tell us the words they use when they describe a particular technique, or a slang and colloquial expression that has arisen among the philately community. The words and phrases used by people when talking about a shared pastime can be little-known to outsiders, and are often interesting coinages with unique histories. As part of their hobby word appeal, the Oxford English Dictionary would love to hear about words and phrases unique to philately.’

The special website asks collectors to add the word, a definition, which hobby it relates to, and invites any further information that may be relevant. If you have a word or phrase to share, you can submit it online at the website: https://public.oed.com/appeals/hobby-words, you can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #hobbywords.

This year marks the ninetieth anniversary of the completion of the first edition of the dictionary.

Find out more at public.oed.com