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Oxford Dictionary of English

From Countdown
The Oxford Dictionary of English (second edition revised), one of the show's former dictionaries, added only a few new words to its predecessor.
Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) is separate to Concise Oxford Dictionary (COD), Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries Premium (ODP).

The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) was the source dictionary used to judge words on Countdown from Series 43 (2000) to Series 70 (2014). First published in 1998 as the The New Oxford Dictionary of English (NODE), each updated edition typically added a number of new words, and clarified the validity of some inflections (see letters round rules). It was replaced by use of the of Oxford Dictionaries Premium (ODP) on a laptop in Series 71, which also replaced the pencam. The third and last edition remains visible on the presenter's desk to this day, is still in use on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and was part of the Countdown goody bag until Series 86.

Countdown has always favoured shorter editions over the various comprehensive tomes issued by Oxford, both for reasons of television convenience and in an attempt to reward anagramming skills rather than knowledge of rare or obsolete words. Nevertheless, even the Concise Oxford Dictionary (the dictionary used before this one) includes a huge number of words which are likely to be unfamiliar to any one person, and some of these have become popular favourites on the show, such as TANGELO, LEOTARD and FANTOD. In the 2000s, some of the most successful players of this era, such as Conor Travers and Craig Beevers, have taken knowledge of the high-probability obscurities to new heights. Stewart Holden admits that his grand final win over Steve Graston hinged on his spotting the word WALDOES, which he had learnt only for its probability.

Susie Dent, the programme's longest-serving lexicographer, has frequently suggested that the words seen on Countdown contribute to decisions made about what to include in future editions. For example, after many years of being disallowed, RESOLE was finally introduced with the ODE second edition. Popular requests included MOANIEST and clouter ☓ (although these have the anagrams AMNIOTES and COULTER respectively).

Timeline of editions used in Dictionary Corner

External Links