Current Events

  1. Do You Give Presents Or Gifts? Here’s The Difference

    Where do the words gift and present come from? Why does English use both? We’re pretty sure it’s not just so that children can ask for toys in multiple ways… Language is not a linear, predestined development. Even though it may feel as if the language we speak is in some way the logical conclusion of thousands of years of development, every word that we …

  2. What’s The Difference Between “Yule” And “Christmas”?

    The lyric from “Deck the Halls” goes “Troll the ancient yuletide carol.” Amidst all the fa-la-la-ing, did you ever ask yourself exactly what yule is? While some people use the word as a synonym for Christmas, there’s more to Yule than the goings on that happen on December 25th. What is yule? Yule is the ancient name in the Germanic lunar calendar for a winter festival …

  3. The X In Xmas Is Really About Jesus Christ

    Here’s a holiday surprise that only the dictionary can provide. Do you find the word Xmas, as an abbreviation for Christmas, offensive? Many people do, but the origin of this controversial term might change your mind! You won’t find Xmas in church songbooks or even on many greeting cards. Xmas is popularly associated with a trend toward materialism and is, sometimes, the target of people who …

  4. Ghosting, Seething, And Other Trending Words This Week

    From the sentencing of the president’s former attorney to the holiday season, there’s plenty going on to drive word searches on Dictionary.com. Here are some of the biggest search spikes of the week! Synergy Searches for the meaning of synergy spiked 1,561% in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s use of the word in court filings last Friday. Mueller alleged that Michael Cohen, former attorney …

  5. Why Are People Getting “Canceled”?

    We could always cancel our plans or a magazine subscription, but these days it’s people who are up for cancelation. The verb cancel dates back to the days of medieval Latin, meaning “to cross out.” It’s only in the past couple of years that it’s been used to declare people null and void. Everyone from Kanye West to Lena Dunham has now been labelled as “canceled” on …

  6. The Word Stories Behind The 12 Days Of Christmas Gifts

  7. Jefe, White Elephant, And Other Trending Words This Week

    From the funeral of a former president to an international soccer trade, here’s what made words trend on Dictionary.com this week! Jefe The loss of President George H.W. Bush was felt across the nation, and his long-time friend and former secretary of state James A. Baker III was thrust once again into the spotlight this week. Baker, who was with the 41st president right until …

  8. You Won’t Understand The News Without These Words

  9. How To Make Your Last Name Plural (And Keep The Grammarians Off Your Back)

    If writing out your holiday cards or ordering a sign for the front of your house makes you break out in hives, you may know a few grammar sticklers who like to poke fun. You know the type: The people who own stock in red ink manufacturing and are quick to point out when you’ve misused that apostrophe and inappropriately pluralized your last name. But …

  10. Misinformation, Loki, And Other Trending Words This Week

    From the Dictionary.com Word of the Year to NASA’s years-long mission to land a spacecraft on Mars, the words that trended in searches this week are out of this world (if we do say so ourselves). Ready? Set? Learn! Misinformation It’s official! The Dictionary.com Word of the Year is misinformation, a word we chose after careful consideration. We’re glad to see from your dictionary searches …

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