Hobbies & Passions

  1. From Suffrage to Sisterhood: What Does Feminism Actually Mean?

    International Women’s Day (March 8th) is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing women in our lives. It’s also a time to remember how far women have come over the course of American history, and the inspiring women who made it happen. From the suffragist movement of the 1800s to the Women’s March in Washington in 2017, women have used the enduring power of language to …

  2. Know Your Meme

    The Original Memes (Before Memes)

    The word meme, coined in 1976 by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, goes way beyond social-media pixels. Meme captures the concept of “cultural transmission” of ideas in general, where customs and ideas spread from brain to brain.  Which means memes have been around longer than Success Kid or Kermit sipping tea. Wildfire ideas have been around as long as humans have—in fact, discovering fire is …

  3. Graze Anatomy: Weird Parts Of The Foods We Love

  4. A Smack Of Jellyfish And Other Strange Animal Groups

    What do hunting and sexual desires have in common? We could point to several things, but from a linguistic point of view, we’re referring to the archaic word venery, which means both hunting (from the Latin venor) and sexual desire (from Latin veneria, referring to Venus). Strangely, terms of venery is a collective noun that means a group of animals. And, many of these animal …

  5. Germophobe, Collector, Budgeter: Which Type Of Traveler Are You?

    There are different types of travelers, and we’ve created some names for a few of them. Whether you’re a minimalist, budgeter, collector, storyteller, or germophobe, traveling is your game, right? But, which type of traveler are you? Think you know—well, take our personality test just to be sure . . . . Don’t forget to share your results (so your friends and family will know …

  6. Every Day Was Wacky Hair Day In The 1700s

  7. theblackpanthers.com

    The United States of Diversity: Ebonics or AAVE

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Welcome back to our United States of Diversity series, where we travel the country exploring the minority languages, dialects, and people that live here. In this episode, we’re happy to give you our tribute to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Also called Black English or Ebonics, a blend of the words ebony and phonics, AAVE is …

  8. The Mind-Bending Stroop Effect: Don’t Read These Words!

    WARNING: Your brain is about to experience conflict and interference, while executing a suspiciously mundane task. Do not scoff. Different-colored words will slow down your mental processing, and there’s almost nothing you can do about it—except read the rest of this article to learn more. You are at the mercy of . . . the Stroop effect! Get ready: The following is a group of words, written …

  9. Negative Or Positive Reinforcement: Which Is Better?

    Negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement Most people think that positive reinforcement means to lavish praise or encouragement, and that is a good part of its essence, but not all of it. What is negative reinforcement, then? Is that about withholding praise? Scolding? Admonishing? Positive reinforcement is actually something we’re all pretty familiar with. When you were a kid, did you get a weekly allowance for …

  10. The United States of Diversity: Louisiana Creole

    Welcome to Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Here, we explore the minority languages of this country and the people who use them. To linguists, no dialect is better than another. They all have merit, since they’ve all emerged from cultural peculiarities unique to the region and its people. Join us in this series, for a trip around the country as we …

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