Regions list does not return all used regions


If I obtain a list from the regions endpoint ( it contains only 6 entries like such:

great britain
united states

However many senses returned by the entries endpoint contain regions that are not in this list, for example the word "buck" returns all of the following:

North American
South African

Am I correct in assuming that the regions list is intended to return all region values used in definitions, or is it actually for a different purpose?

Thank you.


  • AmosDuveenAmosDuveen Member, Administrator, Moderator admin
    edited February 2019

    Hi @GarryWood,

    We should hold our hands up to this one. This is a confusion of our own making.

    You are looking at all the results of the 'regions' filter which is confusingly not the same as the 'region' labelling in the data. There are two regions to choose from on that particular filter for English: 'gb' and 'us' (the other names you see are explanatory metadata, not actual filtering options).

    This issue stems from the days of print dictionaries when we had two principle titles for current English usage: the Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE; not to be confused with the massive historical Oxford English Dictionary, the legendary OED) and the New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD); we do have other regional titles for Canadian, Australian, NZ etc. but they haven't formed part of our digital offering for quite some time, due to the prioritization of resources.

    What the API aims to do is to provide all of our most current data but there was a need to distinguish between ODE and NOAD content, hence the 'regions' filter because, after all, British English speakers would prefer to see 'underwear' sense of the word 'pants' listed ahead of the 'trousers' sense while American English speakers would prefer the opposite. There are many such regional differences between the two datasets, not least to do with spelling.

    Unfortunately, while our technical wizards are brilliant programmers, their creativity failed them when it came to naming conventions and so we ended up with a clash.

  • Thanks @AmosDuveen,

    That makes sense, naming conflicts happen!

Sign In or Register to comment.