Word Trends & Stories

  1. How Do I Write A Great Female Character?

    Hester, Jo March, Lisbeth Salander, Hermione Granger, Pippi Longstocking. Great female characters abound in literature—though they certainly could abound more! These women and girls come to life on the pages of our favorite books and on the big screen, as they engage, enlighten, and enrage, and inspire us to look at our own lives a bit differently.  But, what makes a great female character? They’re …

  2. What Even Is A “Fortnight,” And Why Was It Trending?

    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 …

  3. How To Get A Word Into The Dictionary

    “I coined a new word. Snacktabulous. It describes a snack, but a really spectacular and fabulous one. How do I get it into the dictionary?” This is one of the most common questions we get—and it’s a great one. How does a word get added to the dictionary? Our lexicographers, the people who write and edit the dictionary, are constantly adding new words to the …

  4. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/07/29/fascinating-portraits-chiefs-leaders-sioux-native-american-tribe-3/

    Who Are The Sioux & Why Are They Losing Their Language?

    by Taneesh Khera In 2019, the United Nations is raising awareness about the alarming loss of many of the world’s languages through its International Year of Indigenous Languages. In honor of that initiative, we are shining the spotlight on the languages of the Sioux, and the growing movement to preserve and reinvigorate these rich but endangered tongues. Where did the name Sioux come from? The …

  5. These Words Originated From Native American Languages

  6. What Are The Differences Between “Nerds,” “Geeks,” And “Dorks”?

    These names used to be roughly interchangeable when distinguishing the social outcasts from the in-crowd in school. Yet, those so-called social rejects were destined to rule the world in the form of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, et al. “The geek shall inherit the earth,” indeed. Oh yeah, and billions of dollars.  There’s a lot of overlap in the meanings of nerd, geek, and …

  7. Where Does The Name “October” Come From?

    October is here, and in the northern hemisphere, that often means the days are flush with falling leaves, chilling weather, and growing anticipation for the holiday season. The tenth month by our Gregorian calendar, October shares a root with octopus and octagon—the Latin octo and Greek okto, meaning “eight.” So, how did October become the 10th month? The original Roman calendar had only ten months, …

  8. Seven Essential Words Of Fall

  9. Getty Images

    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 …

  10. Why Is Friday The 13th Unlucky?

    Can you honestly say that you’ve never felt a slight pang of concern when waking up on the morning of Friday the 13th? You’re not alone. Maybe it’s triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, that gets you down. But, if 13s don’t bother you unless it’s Friday, you might be susceptible to what’s sometimes known as paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia, instead. Whether you plan on …

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