Posted on June 21, 2022

Oxford Announces ‘African American English’ Dictionary

Sean Salai, Washington Times, June 16, 2022

Oxford University Press has announced it will produce a new dictionary of “African American English,” which will include slang ranging from “hip” to “diss.”

Black Harvard literary critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. will oversee the three-year project for Oxford Languages to compile the “Oxford Dictionary of African American English,” the publisher said in a news release Thursday.

The new book will include “quotations taken from real examples of language in use,” alongside the usual Oxford dictionary notations on the meaning, pronunciation, spelling, usage and history of each word.


Mr. Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will oversee a team of researchers and editors from Oxford and Harvard.

“Every speaker of American English borrows heavily from words invented by African Americans, whether they know it or not,” Mr. Gates said.