Where can I find a more extensive definition of OE?

by Carolyn
(Seattle, WA)

I know SCRABBLE players are usually not terribly concerned about the definitions of words, but I've become very intrigued with the whirlwinds off the Faeroe Islands: OE. I've checked a bunch of fat dictionaries and I've Googled for hours. No luck. Do you know a good source?

Hi there Carolyn. Well, let me start by agreeing with your observation that 'Scrabble players are not terribly concerned about definitions of words' ;-)

And those of us who are interested in definitions of the words they play, do not usually delve into those definitions in any great depth. My familiarity with the word OE comes from two sources...

In Chambers Dictionary (a British authority) it is described as a Scottish term for a grandchild (also spelled OY or OYE). In Websters Unabridged Dictionary (an American authority) it is defined as the Faroe Whirlwinds, as per your question, but with no elaboration.

In fact, none of my sneaky sources gives any more information than this. I haven't done an extensive Google search because I trust I would come back empty handed just as you did.

My advice when it comes to tracking down elusive information about rarely used words is to pay a visit to WorldWideWords where you can ask a true word authority, Michael Quinion, questions like this (although I think you have to subscribe to submit your questions).

I am very interested in unusual words, of course, but I am much more of a word gamer, than a lexicographer I'm afraid ;-(

If you do have luck, please report back here with your findings. I would love to know more about this tiny, but indispensable, Scrabble word.

All the best,

P.S. Michael Quinion writes from a British perspective, and is therefore more likely to refer to the Chambers meaning of this word than that to the Websters definition. However, I still think he is your best chance here.

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