Essay My Search Of The Oxford English Dictionary

1089 Words Sep 29th, 2015 5 Pages
During my search of the Oxford English Dictionary, I specifically looked for words that were relevant in today’s society, but also held multiple meanings throughout history. My search concluded with the following words, bully, nervous, gay and liberate. Each word has held an alternative meaning at some point in history and when grouped together have a distinct relevance in today’s American culture. Readers will be presented the history of each individual word, while also gaining an understanding of the words meaning and relevance to the present time.
The first of the words that attracted my attention was bully. I initially became attracted due to the relevance in society. The meaning of bully and its function has been a major focal point in movies, literature and news programs throughout the world. The word is currently associated with negativity and oppression. However, the word once held a more positive and polite meaning when used in literature and dialogue. The word first appears in 1600, most often in William Shakespeare’s work. Bully was used as a term of endearment. It was also attributed to friendly admiration or recognizing someone as a good friend. I found the original meaning to be quite ironic given the current meaning of the word. An example of Shakespeare’s usage of the word is found in his comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor when he writes “Blesse thee my bully doctor”. Readers can see the original meaning applied in the form of gratitude towards the doctor.…

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