1. The Oldest Abbreviations In English

    The Oldest Abbreviations In English

    In the age of LOL, WTF, and OMG, abbreviations are often looked at as a sign of the coming apocalypse. (Spoiler: LOL, WTF, and OMG are not the oldest abbreviations in English—you’re shocked, we know.) So-called textspeak is viewed as a lesser form of English, and many people worry that pretty soon we’ll all be communicating solely in emoji. But, abbreviations aren’t exactly a new invention. …

  2. There’s Nothing Pawky About This Week’s Quiz

    There’s Nothing Pawky About This Week’s Quiz

    Tired from terraforming all weekend? Heal thyself with this week’s salvific Word of the Day Quiz. If the quiz doesn’t display, please try opening in the Chrome browser. Interested in Words of the Day from the past? Check out this one that we brought to life …     Tell us your favorite word from this week below (and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter)!

  3. Why Can’t Women Swear?

    Why Can’t Women Swear?

    It’s not every day you hear the F-word at a congressional event … But in January 2019, at an event celebrating progressive women in congress, that’s exactly what happened. Rashida Tlaib, the country’s first Palestinian-American congresswoman, told a story about what her congressional win meant to her son. She told the crowd, “…when your son looks at you and says: ‘Momma, look, you won. Bullies …

  4. We Can Thank Alexander Hamilton For Giving Us These Words

    We Can Thank Alexander Hamilton For Giving Us These Words

    He may have been 🎶dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor🎶 … but by now we all know Alexander Hamilton grew up to be a hero and a scholar. However, did you know the first secretary of the treasury was also quite the linguist? Since Lin-Manuel Miranda turned Hamilton from a mysterious face on our $10 bill …

  5. Humanitarian, Sublimate, And Other Trending Words This Week

    Humanitarian, Sublimate, And Other Trending Words This Week

    From Glenn Close at the Golden Globes to Cyntoia Brown in Tennessee, here’s who (and what) had folks searching for meaning on Dictionary.com this week. Humanitarian President Donald Trump made his first-ever address to the nation from the Oval Office this week, so it’s no surprise that folks tuned in to see what he had to say, or that plenty stuck around for the Democrats’ …

  6. What Is An Ally?

    What Is An Ally?

    It used to be that when we spoke of allies, it was most likely in a military sense, referring to countries formally banded together, usually by treaty, to fight against their enemies. Today, the word is used more broadly though. What does ally mean today? Ally, the singular form of the noun, is used to describe “someone who supports disenfranchised and underrepresented groups of people within our …

  7. Where Did The Word “Pizza” Come From, Anyway?

    Where Did The Word “Pizza” Come From, Anyway?

    The origin of the word pizza The word pizza is Italian for pie, and we English borrowed (and loved it) from Italian in the 1930s. But just how that word wound up in the Italian language boggles etymologists. It may have come from the Latin pix meaning “pitch” or Greek pitta, but others say that it originated in a Langobardic word bizzo meaning “bite.” Who made the …

  8. Before X Was X: The Dark Horse Story Of The 24th Letter

    Before X Was X: The Dark Horse Story Of The 24th Letter

    With its long, ambiguous history and multiple phonemes, the letter X is quite a dark horse. It can mean Christ, like the X in Xmas, stand for a chromosome, and even show up in friendly and amorous correspondence (XOXO). But, how did X end up in the alphabet to begin with? The origin of X Since its inception, the letter X has struggled to establish its own …

  9. Famous Sayings That Became Catalysts For Social Change

    Famous Sayings That Became Catalysts For Social Change

    Phrases like sit-in or bra-burning might not currently mean much to you. But, these phrases (or calls to action), and the movements that coined them, are the reasons why we continue to fight for social justice today. A catalyst is “a person or thing that precipitates an event or change” (and that’s just one of the definitions of the word.  But back to these early calls to …

  10. Where Does The Name January Come From?

    Where Does The Name January Come From?

    If you were asked to pick which month is most often associated with deep reflection, you’d probably choose January. Known for recaps and resolutions, the new year starts with retrospection (as we bemoan past regrets and celebrate successes), then moves forward with hopes for the year ahead! So, in January, we’re all a little bit like Janus, the Roman deity for whom the month is …

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