Word Trends & Stories

  1. Dictionary.com’s Words To Inspire You For Earth Day

    We love the Earth, it’s beautiful, amazing … and it needs our help. The phrase Earth Day originated in 1969. It means “a day’s observance of the need to protect the Earth’s environment, in many countries on April 22.” The first Earth Day was organized by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970. He was upset that politics and media were not addressing the concerns of our …

  2. Getty

    Get High On This Smoking Slang

    “One toke over the line . . .” That 1971 hit by the duo Brewer and Shipley was written as a paean to marijuana. On Last.fm, Tom Shipley commented, “‘When we wrote ‘One Toke Over the Line,’ I think we were one toke over the line.” Back in that day, marijuana was lumped in with all sorts of drugs deemed to be forbidden. But now, …

  3. Zelig And Other Trending Words This Week

    For the second time in as many months, former CIA Director John Brennan has thrown searches on Dictionary.com into a tailspin. Last month, Brennan’s retort to President Donald Trump drove people in droves to find out the meaning of the words turpitude, venality, and demagogue. So what word did Brennan use this time (in yet another response to the president)? Kakistocracy  Meaning “a form of …

  4. Are New Idioms Ever Created?

    Many idioms—expressions that are not taken literally—are so old and so familiar that we don’t think twice about using them. We say, for example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” to indicate that it’s pouring outside, and “comfortable as an old shoe” to explain an easy and familiar relationship. We can trace the etymology of some idioms to books and sayings that were first used hundreds …

  5. Basta And Other Trending Words This Week

    Sometimes, letting out a curse word feels pretty darn good, doesn’t it? How about letting out the word that means “feeling good about cursing?” It’s real, and it skyrocketed to the top of our trending words list this week! Lalochezia Searches for lalochezia, which means “emotional relief gained by using indecent or vulgar language,” climbed a whopping 15,930%. The term has been making the rounds …

  6. Misogyny, Sexism, And Taking Down The Patriarchy

    With the recent #MeToo and Times Up movements, equality and the empowerment of women have become household conversations around the world. Everyone from your next-door neighbor to your favorite high-school teacher have likely joined the discussion, using a brand new set of vocabulary including the words misogyny and sexism. While these two terms may seem similar, there are actually several differences that make them stand …

  7. Dictionary.com’s Top 10 Emoji With Hidden Meanings

  8. Euphoria And Other Trending Words This Week

    Social media has been abuzz this week with talk about—what else—Facebook, and all this talk has put at least one word in the hot seat on Dictionary.com’s trending list! Glib Glib took an abrupt 868% climb earlier in the week when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the term to clap back at Apple CEO Tim Cook, who had criticized the social-media company’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. …

  9. Last Month In Pop Language: Black Panther And Other Best Sellers

    by Molly Rosen Marriner This is our first installment of Last Month in Pop Language, a column where the most popular (statistically) song, book, and film of the month will have their words analyzed in hopes of drawing a conclusion about language’s current usage—and future. At the end of each monthly column, we’ll draw a conclusion: Was last month’s pop language masterly, malevolent, or merely …

  10. Hey! Ok! Understanding Language With Desktop AI

    Sentient. We define this word as “having the power of perception by the senses; conscious.” Fans of the Terminator movie series will know this word and its implications (Skynet, cough cough). And, we can’t forget the Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which desktop AI system is better at understanding language? But, in this article, we’re focusing on the sentient Google Home and Assistant and how …

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