The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

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Roald Dahl HQ
Posted on
10:58am, 27th March
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The BFG
Roald Dahl with Sophie from The BFG, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Image c. Bremner Orr

Oxford University Press to publish the scrumdiddlyumptious language of Roald Dahl in 2016

The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary - set to be published in 2016 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth - will be a brand new dictionary with colour illustrations for children of 8+.

Roald Dahl played with language and took delight in creating new words using identifiable linguistic methods. He used acronyms, loan translations, blends, formed new compounds, and created new words from syllables and word fragments. Many of these words are not in traditional dictionaries, yet market research conducted by Oxford Univerity Press shows that children love to write and use them.

This dictionary will explore Roald Dahl’s imaginative language and vocabulary and trace the origins of these words, from the "scrumdiddlyumptious" words of The BFG and his penchant for "gobblefunk" to the terrible insults of Matilda's Miss Trunchbull and James Trotter's awful Aunts.

Vineeta Gupta, Head of Children’s Dictionary Publishing, Oxford University Press says: “Roald Dahl’s stories are so rich in language and invented words. This dictionary will inspire children to explore language invented by the bestselling author of all times. Parents and teachers will know that all content comes with the authority and quality of the Oxford Dictionary brand.”

Amanda Conquy, Managing Director of Dahl & Dahl Ltd, Chairman of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre says: "Roald Dahl's artful, dynamic and playful use of language is one of the aspects of his writing which, we think, has secured him such a vibrant and enduring legacy amongst readers of all ages. We are thrilled that Oxford Dictionaries, the leading global dictionary brand, has recognised this and will be celebrating it during the year which marks the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth, 2016. This is the first of many exciting projects - encompassing publishing and beyond - which we will be announcing for 2016. In Roald Dahl's Centenary year, we will be particularly celebrating his ability to inspire and ignite creativity in others. His use of language is surely one of the most important ways in which he achieved this."