Posts by John Kelly

  1. Did You Know We Added These New Terms To Our Slang Dictionary?

    Why is everyone suddenly tweeting about OK boomer? What is that Baby Yoda meme all up in our feeds about? And who are Becky and Karen, anyways? Oh, we’ve got this. We love keeping up with the latest terms in slang and getting to the bottom of the funniest, strangest, and, yes, thorniest trends in pop culture and social media. We love it so much, …

  2. The Most Searched Words Of 2019 On Dictionary.com

    Goodbye, 2019. Hello, 2020! Well, not just yet. As we look ahead to what the new year will bring, we also reflect back on the previous one—and at Dictionary.com, that means analyzing the top words that sent users to our site in 2019. We dived into our data and identified the five words that trended the most each month. And how did we measure those …

  3. Dictionary.com’s Word Of The Year For 2019 Is …

    From existential threats to existential choices “I’m trash!” was the insistent cry of Forky, the googly-eyed spork whose struggle to be a toy was at the heart of the summer blockbuster Toy Story 4. Forky’s plight was entertaining, yes, but it also resonated with a deeper sentiment—and word—that defined so much of 2019. We know what you must be thinking: Forky? The dictionary? 2019? Well, …

  4. How Young People Are Redefining Sexuality And Romantic Attraction

    by Rory GoryPansexual, skoliosexual, asexual biromantic. How young queer people are identifying their sexual and romantic orientations is expanding—as is the language they use to do it. More than 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth use words other than lesbian, gay, and bisexual to describe their sexualities, according to a new report based on findings from The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health. …

  5. What Does It Mean To Be Asexual?

    by Rory GoryIn a recent study, “Diversity of Youth Sexual Orientation,” The Trevor Project found that one in five LGBTQ youth are using different words to describe their sexual and romantic identities and orientations, including terms like asexual and aromantic. (Read more about this study and those new words here.) But, there are many persistent and painful myths and misunderstandings surrounding sexual orientation, romantic attraction, …

  6. What Is The Difference Between “Fortnite” And “Fortnight”?

    This week, Lady Gaga lit up Twitter with a simple question: “What’s fortnight?” What’s fortnight — Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 15, 2019 As the viral response to her tweet made plain, Gaga had apparently confused fortnight with the massively popular online video game—and homonym—Fortnite.  Gaga’s question also lit up searches on Dictionary.com for fortnight, which, compared to data from, well, a fortnight ago, went up …

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    What Does “Resilience” Mean, And Why Was It Trending?

    All politics, as they say, is personal. That truism definitely rang, well, true in the closing question of the third Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, Thursday, September 12, 2019. One of the moderators, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, asked the ten candidates on “the quality of resilience.” He went on:Every president confronts crises, defeats, and mistakes. So I want to ask each of you, what’s the most …

  8. Why Did “Pandemonium” Trend This Week?

    In the past few weeks, people lined up at Popeyes, a popular restaurant chain known for its Southern-fried chicken, all over the US to get their hands on a hot and hyped new menu item: a chicken sandwich.  On Dictionary.com, meanwhile, we saw our own crowd: searches for pandemonium surged nearly 350% since mid-August, when Popeyes released the sandwich en masse. Searches for pandemonium are …

  9. What Is “Stochastic Terrorism,” And Why Is It Trending?

    On Saturday, August 3, a gunman in El Paso, Texas, took the lives of 22 people and injured many more. The next morning, another shooter claimed 9 victims in Dayton, Ohio. As people were processing these massacres, many turned to the dictionary. We observed lookups for one term, stochastic terrorism, surge 63,389% on August 4, as compared to the week prior. Topping searches on https://t.co/OeJELgy3YL …

  10. Getty

    How The Letter “X” Creates More Gender-Neutral Language

    by Rory GoryThe letter X is often used to represent the unknown or the indescribable. In English, there are so few words beginning with X that in Samuel Johnson’s famous early dictionary, X was defined as, “a letter, which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.” The mathematician and philosopher René Descartes used the letter X to represent variable quantities …