Word Trends & Stories

  1. What You Need To Know About “Protester” vs. “Rioter” vs. “Terrorist” vs. “Mob”

    On January 6, 2021, a mob at a protest rally in support of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building on the day Congress was set to certify the electoral vote count to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. As people processed this shocking event, they debated how to refer to the participants in the siege. Should the people who invaded the Capitol, even if …

  2. Should We Use BCE Instead Of BC?

    People in the Western world debate many things, from whether cheesecake is actually a cake to which airplane seat is the best—aisle or the window? What year it is generally does not fall into the category of debated facts. However, how to refer to said year and the past years from ancient history—BC and AD or BCE and CE—does. Both sets of abbreviations have history. One …

  3. Laying Down The Law On “Sedition” vs. “Treason” vs. “Insurrection” vs. “Coup”

    On January 6, 2021, interest in the words insurrection, sedition, treason, and coup all surged on on Dictionary.com after a mob of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building on the day Congress was set to certify the electoral vote count to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. Many journalists, political analysts, and politicians all used these very serious—and consequential—words to refer to …

  4. Is There An Actual Definition For The Term “Word Nerd”?

    If you’re anything like us, you collect words the same way that other people collect coins or Pokémon cards. You think about words while you’re dreaming, and you’re constantly on the hunt for new words during the day. You underline new vocabulary in books, you keep a note in your smartphone of new words you heard on a podcast, and your friends are afraid to …

  5. The People’s Choice 2020 Word Of The Year: 2020 Was A $#@#%%$@!

    … and the people have spoken! We’ve tallied the thousands of responses we received for our People’s Choice 2020 Word of the Year, and the results are, well, unprecedented. That’s right, the top submission was unprecedented, just edging our own official selection for Word of the Year, pandemic. Is it just us, or are we sensing a pattern here? Now, we know many of you …

  6. The Dictionary.com Word Of The Year For 2020 Is …

    pandemic: life upended, language transformed 2020 has been, well, a lot. At Dictionary.com, the task of choosing a single word to sum up 2020—a year roiled by a public health crisis, an economic downturn, racial injustice, climate disaster, political division, and rampant disinformation—was a challenging and humbling one. But at the same time, our choice was overwhelmingly clear. From our perspective as documenters of the …

  7. What Is In The Oath Of Office?

    Like clockwork, we hear the presidential oath of office every four years. Thirty-five words that basically give the incoming Chief Executive the keys to the proverbial car. And the nuclear launch codes. The National Museum of American History says that Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution “requires that before presidents can assume their duties they must take the oath of office.” Once the incoming …

  8. Text that says "Indigenous" and lists Native American tribes on a dark blue background

    “Columbus Day” vs. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”: What Should This Holiday Be Called?

    The death of George Floyd in May 2020 has sparked a cultural reckoning with systemic racism and violence in the US against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, present and past—including the very story many of us are taught about the “discovery” of America. Statues of Christopher Columbus, whose landing in America is commemorated on October 12 each year, have been in some instances officially taken …

  9. image of two hands holding each other on a blue blackground.

    Why Words like “Choice,” “Change,” and “Conversion” Can Harm LGBTQ People

    by Rory Gory No matter your sexual orientation or gender identity, all people have something in common. There are many things in life that we can choose or change, such as how we decide to express ourselves, the relationships we commit to, or the dreams we pursue. And then there are things in life that happen to us whether or not we want them to: …

  10. How Words For Tastes Became Words For Traits