History

  1. The Forgotten Verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

    Do you know all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”? Many people have difficulty memorizing the lyrics of the first verse of this song, which is commonly performed at sports events and other public gatherings. But did you know that there are three additional verses that we almost never hear? How Did the “Star-Spangled Banner” Become the US National Anthem? In 1814, the poet and …

  2. The United States of Diversity: Borders

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity by Taneesh Khera In April, 2018 I traveled to India for a college friend’s wedding. When I came back, I read part of this essay to two friends, and we began to discuss borders and what they’ve become today. That conversation was inspiration for this episode, so grab a cushion and get comfortable for the United States of Diversity: Borders. …

  3. 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 …

  4. Take A Ride Around The World On These Unusual Transports

    One way to get to know a country is through its food. Another way is by using the country’s public transportation. Some unique modes of transportation are just for fun, like dog-sledding trips in Norway and zorbing in New Zealand (which involves rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball, just saying). Other means of transportation are more practical . . . here’s a …

  5. Exploring A Runner’s High And Other Myths

  6. From Suffrage to Sisterhood: What Does Feminism Actually Mean?

    International Women’s Day (March 8th) is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing women in our lives. It’s also a time to remember how far women have come over the course of American history, and the inspiring women who made it happen. From the suffragist movement of the 1800s to the Women’s March in Washington in 2017, women have used the enduring power of language to …

  7. Know Your Meme

    The Original Memes (Before Memes)

    The word meme, coined in 1976 by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, goes way beyond social-media pixels. Meme captures the concept of “cultural transmission” of ideas in general, where customs and ideas spread from brain to brain.  Which means memes have been around longer than Success Kid or Kermit sipping tea. Wildfire ideas have been around as long as humans have—in fact, discovering fire is …

  8. A Smack Of Jellyfish And Other Strange Animal Groups

    What do hunting and sexual desires have in common? We could point to several things, but from a linguistic point of view, we’re referring to the archaic word venery, which means both hunting (from the Latin venor) and sexual desire (from Latin veneria, referring to Venus). Strangely, terms of venery is a collective noun that means a group of animals. And, many of these animal …

  9. Every Day Was Wacky Hair Day In The 1700s

  10. theblackpanthers.com

    The United States of Diversity: Ebonics or AAVE

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Welcome back to our United States of Diversity series, where we travel the country exploring the minority languages, dialects, and people that live here. In this episode, we’re happy to give you our tribute to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Also called Black English or Ebonics, a blend of the words ebony and phonics, AAVE is …

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