Wordhunt was a national appeal run by the Oxford English Dictionary, looking for earlier evidence of the use of 50 words and phrases in the English language. New evidence found by members of the public in response to the appeal appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. The appeal is a companion to the BBC2 television series Balderdash and Piffle.

First Wordhunt

The first Wordhunt was launched in 2005 by the Oxford English Dictionary and the BBC and resulted in the OED updating the entries of 34 words and phrases, featured in the first series of Balderdash and Piffle broadcast in early 2006.

The 50 words and phrases were:

Second Wordhunt

The second Wordhunt was launched in January 2007, and the results featured in a second series of Balderdash and Piffle, which was broadcast in Spring 2007.

The forty words and phrases, divided into six themes, are:

Man's Best Friend

Put Downs and Insults

Spend a Penny


X Rated

One Sandwich Short

  • bananas (1968) *
  • bonkers (1957) *
  • daft (or mad) as a brush (1945) *
  • duh brain (1997)
  • one sandwich short of a picnic (1993)

Who Were They?

Dodgy Dealings


External links