Word Trends & Stories

  1. Taboo Words? Not Anymore!

  2. Unhinged And Other Trending Words This Week

    From rapper Kanye West to satirist Andy Borowitz to—who else—President Donald Trump, the trending words this week were driven by a star-studded cast of characters. So, what word really soared into the stratosphere? Unhinged Rumors that White House Chief of Staff had called President Donald Trump “an idiot” and said he was “becoming unhinged” helped boost searches for unhinged this week. But, it may have …

  3. Last Month In Pop Language: “Nice for What” And Other April #1s

    by Molly Rosen Marriner This is our second 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 meh? Film: A …

  4. The United States of Diversity: Fargo And Its NCVS Don’tcha Know

    by Taneesh Khera Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity You’ve stumbled onto our United States of Diversity series, welcome! If you don’t already know, here we explore a minority language or dialect in the country, and this episode’s no different. Does your keeat sit an the meeat? Or, maybe you wait for the boss down the black? Do you cal your mam an Sundays? If you …

  5. Words Bookworms Mispronounce Because We Read Them First

    Anyone who has spent nights during their childhood huddled under a comforter with a flashlight (or more recently a flashlight app) lighting up the splayed pages of a book knows that being a bookworm helps you build the sort of vocabulary that earns you eyerolls on the playground and accolades from the teachers. Yet, dedicated bibliophiles know there’s really only one problem that comes with …

  6. Pansexual And Other Trending Words This Week

    Between her success on the big screen, her chart-topping songs, and her success as a model, record producer and more, there’s not much Janelle Monae can’t do. Her latest accomplishment? Monae scored the top spot in the Dictionary.com Trending Words list with a 6087% jump in searches! Pansexual In an interview with Rolling Stone this week, Monae told the magazine that she initially identified as …

  7. 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 …

  8. 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, …

  9. 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 …

  10. 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 …

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