Word Trends & Stories

  1. Racist And Other Trending Words This Week

    From a Twitter meltdown by Roseanne Barr to a word dropped on Westworld, Hollywood had a major impact on the Dictionary.com trending word list this week. Racist, abhorrent, and repugnant A series of tweets by Roseanne Barr hit the news cycle this week, and they also helped boost a number of searches on Dictionary.com. Barr, star of the eponymous show Roseanne, tweeted a racist comment …

  2. Made-Up Words: Twitter’s Favorite Family Malapropisms

    Just about every family has a word that makes sense only to them. Said by children, weird uncles, or parents in the heat of the moment, these words were coined when someone goofed … and yet somehow for these families they stuck. There’s even an official term for this phenomenon: malapropism, a noun that means “an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by …

  3. English Words From The Pharaohs

    Most people recognize Ancient Greek and Latin as the primary donors to the English language. However, some of the most ancient words in English actually trace back to Ancient Egypt.  Distinct from the contemporary Egyptian Arabic spoken today, Ancient Egyptian is a unique Afro-Asiatic language that doesn’t really share similarities with other languages in the family (like Arabic, Hebrew, or Berber). Its 5,000 year-old history generally …

  4. Velociraptor And Other Trending Words This Week

    The royal wedding taught the world a few new words, but it wasn’t the only thing driving our trending searches this week. Fascinator, pomp and circumstance, and ginge The royal wedding didn’t just bring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle together in holy matrimony. It offered up a vocabulary lesson or two! Searches for the fancy hats traditionally worn to royal shindigs—fascinators–climbed 3,330% during the middle …

  5. The Dictionary Is Political: The Complication With Collusion

    by Kory Stamper published May 22, 2018 When we use dictionaries, we think that we are getting a pure view of language, one uncluttered by spin, by misuse, by shifting context. But, lexicographers like me will tell you that language is context. Every meaning in a dictionary is written based on the contextual uses of a word—and context, like people, can get confusing and messy. …

  6. Last Word: Misused Terms From Trump’s Twitter

    Presidential word mangling When it comes to Twitter accounts, there are few that are as closely watched around the world as that of President Donald Trump. With the advent of Twitter, and in particular our current president’s voracious appetite for sharing his every thought, there has come an ability for the world to evaluate something rarely put on display by politicians: their spelling. Trump’s grammar gaffes …

  7. Laurel And Other Trending Words This Week

    From LeBron James’ performance in the Eastern Conference finals to some reality stars on MTV, here’s a look at the vocabulary lessons we got from the news this week. BTFO No athlete wants to send people to the dictionary to find out that BTFO means “blown the f–k out,” least of all find out that searches for the acronym climbed 2455% after your loss. But, if …

  8. Getty

    In Omnia Paratus And Other Latin Phrases You’ve Heard While Streaming

    Whether you’re speaking, reading, or writing in English, you can’t get very far before you stumble on a word with Latin influence. Aside from the estimated 60 percent of English words have roots in Latin, you can’t pull out a book, pull up a YouTube video, or switch on Netflix these days without hearing some Latin phrases in your favorite movies, songs, and novels. From Gilmore …

  9. What Not To Say To Expecting Mothers—You’re Welcome

    Having a baby is certainly a joyous (though laborious and stressful) time for a woman. She’s processing a myriad of emotions and physical changes all at once, and whether it’s her first time or an encore pregnancy, there’s one thing she surely doesn’t need—your unwelcome comments about her blessed event. So, we’re going to save you from a black eye and give you a few phrases …

  10. Toadyism And Other Trending Words This Week

    From lawsuits on the gridiron to scandal in the Oval Office and a jump over the pond into the land of K-pop, trending words were all over the map this week! Toadyism and oleaginous Writer George Will can always be counted on to fill his columns with interesting words, and his latest Washington Post article titled “Trump Is No Longer the Worst Person in Government” …

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Start your day with weird words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.