African Englishes in the <i>Oxford English Dictionary</i>

  • Danica Salazar Oxford Languages, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom


In some of its recent quarterly updates, the Oxford English Dictionary has published particularly large batches of new and revised entries from South African English, Nigerian English, and East African English. The present article is a detailed discussion of the editorial work behind these updates for African varieties of English, whose distinctive vocabularies the OED is currently taking steps to cover more widely. The paper explains how words are selected for inclusion, how new entries are researched and written, how new sources of textual evidence such as social media give OED editors greater insight into African Englishes, and how the dictionary's African consult­ants and users contribute to ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of the OED's definitions, ety­mologies, pronunciations, and quotation evidence. The article also highlights a selection of African words and phrases that have recently been added to or revised in the OED, all of which show the many different forms of lexical innovation that shape the distinctive vocabularies of African Eng­lishes. Keywords: Oxford English Dictionary, historical lexicography, African Englishes, East African English, South African English, West African English, Nigerian English
How to Cite
Salazar, D. (2023). African Englishes in the <i>Oxford English Dictionary</i&gt;. Lexikos, 33(1), 24-40.