Word Facts

  1. Misogyny, Sexism, And Taking Down The Patriarchy

    With the recent #MeToo and Times Up movements, equality and the empowerment of women have become household conversations around the world. Everyone from your next-door neighbor to your favorite high-school teacher have likely joined the discussion, using a brand new set of vocabulary including the words misogyny and sexism. While these two terms may seem similar, there are actually several differences that make them stand …

  2. Ode To The Schwa

    How do I love thee? Let me count the schwas. Not exactly what Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in Sonnet 43 . . . but we like it all the same. Why? Because it finally pays tribute to the most frequent vowel sound in English: the schwa. What is the schwa and how does it sound? Simply put, the schwa is a reduced vowel sound written as …

  3. Common Terms And Their Fake Counterparts

    Is it Daylight “Saving” Time or Daylight “Savings” Time? Come the second Sunday in March, most Americans are turning their clocks ahead one hour, or springing forward, in preparation for the summer months. This practice of advancing the clocks ahead an hour is called daylight saving time. But, because daylight savings time is used so frequently, the term is also considered acceptable. Daylight saving time …

  4. Do You Know What These Weird Plurals Mean?

    Have you ever wondered how to pluralize some of the most common words you use everyday? Some plural forms are pretty strange . . . and most people don’t know them. Take our quiz below to see if you’re up on some of the most obscure plural words in the English language. If the quiz doesn’t display, please tryopeningin the Chrome browser.

  5. 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 …

  6. 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 …

  7. Negative Or Positive Reinforcement: Which Is Better?

    Negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement Most people think that positive reinforcement means to lavish praise or encouragement, and that is a good part of its essence, but not all of it. What is negative reinforcement, then? Is that about withholding praise? Scolding? Admonishing? Positive reinforcement is actually something we’re all pretty familiar with. When you were a kid, did you get a weekly allowance for …

  8. The United States of Diversity: Louisiana Creole

    Welcome to Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Here, we explore the minority languages of this country and the people who use them. To linguists, no dialect is better than another. They all have merit, since they’ve all emerged from cultural peculiarities unique to the region and its people. Join us in this series, for a trip around the country as we …

  9. Cozy Words For A Cold Day

  10. galshir.com

    Words You Didn’t Know Were Inspired By Animals

Sign up for our Newsletter!
Start your day with weird words, fun quizzes, and language stories.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.