Word Trends & Stories

  1. We Can Thank Alexander Hamilton For These Words

    He may have been 🎶dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor🎶 … but by now we all know Alexander Hamilton grew up to be a hero and a scholar. However, did you know the first secretary of the treasury was also quite the linguist? Since Lin Manuel Miranda turned Hamilton from a mysterious face on our $10 …

  2. How to Speak Queer Eye

    It didn’t take very long for the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye to sneak into America’s chests and start fiddling with those heartstrings. But, it wasn’t until season two (now out on the streaming service) that the Fab 5 worked the lexical magic that made the team at Dictionary.com stand up and take notice. We can believe. Spoiler alert … some Queer Eye plot points …

  3. Last Month in Pop Language: Post Malone, Bill Clinton, and Other June Low Points

    by Molly Rosen Marriner This is our fourth installment of Last Month in Pop Language, a column where the most popular (statistically) song, book, and film of the month will have their words analyzed in hopes of drawing a conclusion about language’s current usage—and future. At the end of each monthly column, we’ll draw a conclusion: Was last month’s pop language masterly, malevolent, or merely meh? ————- Movie: The …

  4. Where Did The Phrase “Thoughts And Prayers” Come From?

    From mass shootings to natural disasters, it seems like every day, there’s a new tragedy on the news. With social media amplifying these stories, more and more people are offering their condolences than ever before. While increased attention to the calamities of the world is in theory a good thing, hearing about every single tragedy doesn’t necessarily correlate with absolute empathy. At the very least, …

  5. adweek

    What It Means To “Double Down” And Other Marketing Jargon You Need to Know

    Marketing is a big industry, but not many people know what a marketers’ day-to-day entails. If you’re considering marketing as a career path or have recently started a venture of your own and you need some help, we have a list of marketing jargon that you probably need to know. We’ll give you the summary of these terms and some basic how-tos … but our …

  6. Boston Rare Maps

    What Does Wag the Dog Mean?

    If you aren’t immersed in politics on the daily, through social media, the news, or just casual conversation, you might not be aware that the phrase wag the dog has become pretty poignant political jargon. But, how did it end up in the political lexicon and where did this seemingly innocent-sounding idiom come from? Below is our rendition of the brief history of the word trends …

  7. Pour, Pore, and Other Trending Words This Week

    We pored over the data this week, and we got a good look at what words you learned from the news. Whether it was a presidential grammar mistake or an HBO show host’s foray into teen speak, here’s what made folks curious. Ontogeny and phylogeny Paris Hilton tried to stump the internet this week, asking Twitter users to tell her something she didn’t know. It …

  8. Is Friday Named After a Goddess With a Chariot Pulled by Cats? Well . . .

    In a world that knows too many details about unimportant matters, one would think that our collective expertise could be certain about something as essential as the days of the week. There is, however, a scholarly (and let’s face it, Marvel fan) debate regarding which goddess of love in Norse mythology is the namesake of “Friday.” Who is Friday named for? To complicate matters, it …

  9. The Dictionary Is Insulted: The Problem With Pocahontas

    by Kory Stamper published June 26th, 2018 When we use dictionaries, we think that we are getting a pure view of language, one uncluttered by spin, by misuse, by shifting context. But, lexicographers like me will tell you that language is context. Every meaning in a dictionary is written based on the contextual uses of a word—and context, like people, can get confusing and messy. …

  10. Civility And Other Trending Words This Week

    There were plenty of calls for civility this week, but do folks really know what it means? The word was one of the top trending searches on Dictionary.com, but it was far from the only term to spark interest! Eighty-six The ouster of Press Secretary Sarah Sanders from the Red Hen, an eatery in Lexington, Virginia boosted searches for the meaning of eighty-six by 6,100%! …

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