Christian words deleted from children's dictionary

 The latest edition of the Oxford University Press Junior Dictionary has removed a number of words connected to Christianity. The lost words include: abbey, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, and vicar.

In a report by the Telegraph, editors have justified the changes by citing declining church attendance and multiculturalism.

The dictionary has also abandoned words related to the natural environment, plants and animals. New words have been inserted into the dictionary based on word frequency. These include: allergic, curriculum, celebrity, and MP3 player.

Vineeta Gupta, who is in charge of children's dictionaries at OUP told the Telegraph: "When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance," Gupta said. "That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed. We are also much more multicultural. People don't go to church as often as before. Our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism, which is why some words such as 'Pentecost' or 'Whitsun' would have been in 20 years ago but not now."

NOTE: What do you think about this? Please send your views.


I am appalled to read that Oxford Press dared to take out words from the Junior Dictionary. There is no such thing in taking out words that have existed for many many many years. It is acceptable to add any modern words that have come about due to the computer age and a society that is learning more about others, but to blame this stupidity on being multi-cultural is out of line. As an English speaking nation, we all embrace and accept others from around the world, but we do not 'exit' out what makes up the history of the very nation they are coming to.

Think again what you are doing!! Taking it out will change history when the job is to add to history, not change what has already existed or happened before this date and time. Shameful that we are becoming such a weak and broken society.

I am appalled by the actions of the OUP regarding Christian words being left out of their new dictionary.
No wonder that some of the young people can not string a good sentence together.
It makes the case for the Catholic schools programme all the stronger.


Incredible! And it would be interesting to know whether the editor has omitted words relevant to other religions.


This does sound like censorship, doesn't. I don't believe it is the job of a dictionary editor to drop words.

PT London

The English language is growing and evolving all the time. A good dictionary should have as many of the words in daily use as possible. I can't see why they would want to drop any.

TW Bristol

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