Dictionary: A book or electronic resource that lists the words of a language (typically in alphabetical order) and gives their meaning. Inspired by a long (and sunny!) weekend in the home of Oxford University, here is a day in Oxford city as told through Oxford Dictionary definitions…
Muggle: A person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill. Can often be found touristing around Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford.
1990s: from mug + -le; used in the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling to mean ‘a person without magical powers’.
‘she’s a muggle: no IT background, understanding, or aptitude at all’
Ashmolean Museum: A museum of art and antiquities in Oxford. It opened in 1683 and was the first public institution of its kind in England.
‘no, despite the empty tables you may not have a drink in the Ashmolean Museum Restaurant because of some vague excuse about an event or maybe allude to how it’s members only, but probably we’re just a bit snobby.’
Ninety-nine (also 99): A cone of ice cream with a stick of flaky chocolate in it and a symbol of British summertime. Allegedly costing 99p. Allegedly…
‘can I have a 99 with a flake and strawberry sauce, please?’ ‘that will be £2.50.’
Bridge of Sighs: A 16th-century enclosed bridge in Venice between the Doges’ Palace and the state prison, originally crossed by prisoners on their way to torture or execution.
Also an alternative name for Hertford Bridge, a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford, England. Because it looks a bit like the one in Venice. Supposedly.
‘hey, do you want to take a trip over the bridge of sighs?’ ‘no, thanks. I can’t afford the flight.’
Photobomb: Spoil (a photograph) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken.
‘hey man, that’s a great jacket you’re wearing… is it a photobomber?’
Serendipitous: Occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
‘what kind of dinosaur is it?’ ‘I think it’s a serendipitous.’
Oxfordian: Relating to or denoting the theory that Edward de Vere (1550–1604), Earl of Oxford, wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare.
‘surely only an Oxfordian could have written Shakespeare’s plays?’ ‘spoken like a true Oxfordian.’
Punt: 1. [noun] A long, narrow flat-bottomed boat, square at both ends and propelled with a long pole, used on inland waters chiefly for recreation.
2. [verb] Travel or convey in a punt.
3. [silly] A word that sounds a little bit like a slightly ruder word.
‘you’re a massive punt.’
Castles in the Air: Visionary unattainable schemes; daydreams.
‘I wanted to look around the castle, but at 10 quid for a museum ticket, I was building castles in the air.’
Pub: An establishment for the sale of beer and other drinks, and sometimes also food, to be consumed on the premises. Origin: Mid 19th century: abbreviation of public house.
‘let’s go to the pub’, ‘a country pub’, ‘GERROUUTTAA MY PUB!’
Déjà Vu: A feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
‘Déjà Vu?’ ‘Angkor Wat?’
Peramble: A walk, a ramble; a short excursion with no particular route or aim.
‘my favourite dessert is peramble crupple.’
Oxford: 1. A city in central England, on the River Thames, the county town of Oxfordshire; population 146,100 (est. 2009). Oxford University is located there.
2. A thick cotton fabric chiefly used to make shirts.
3. A type of lace-up shoe with a low heel.
4. A lovely place to visit on a bright, spring day.