Word Trends & Stories

  1. 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, …

  2. Seven Essential Words Of Fall

  3. 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 most …

  4. These Japanese Slang Terms Are “Maji” Amazing

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    What Are The Right Words To Use When Talking About Suicide

    Warning: This article deals with the sensitive topic of suicide. If you (or someone you know) need support, call the toll-free, 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741 for free, which offers 24/7 support from the Crisis Text Line.According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2016 suicide became the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10–34 and the fourth leading …

  6. Why Did “Pandemonium” Trend This Week?

    In the past few weeks, people lined up at Popeyes, a popular restaurant chain known for its Southern-fried chicken, all over the US to get their hands on a hot and hyped new menu item: a chicken sandwich.  On Dictionary.com, meanwhile, we saw our own crowd: searches for pandemonium surged nearly 350% since mid-August, when Popeyes released the sandwich en masse. Searches for pandemonium are …

  7. Words Bookworms Mispronounce Because We Read Them First

    Anyone who has spent nights during their childhood huddled under a comforter with a flashlight (or more recently a flashlight app) lighting up the splayed pages of a book knows that being a bookworm helps you build the sort of vocabulary that earns you eyerolls on the playground and accolades from the teachers. Yet, dedicated bibliophiles know there’s really only one problem that comes with …

  8. What Is “Stochastic Terrorism,” And Why Is It Trending?

    On Saturday, August 3, a gunman in El Paso, Texas, took the lives of 22 people and injured many more. The next morning, another shooter claimed 9 victims in Dayton, Ohio. As people were processing these massacres, many turned to the dictionary. We observed lookups for one term, stochastic terrorism, surge 63,389% on August 4, as compared to the week prior. Topping searches on https://t.co/OeJELgy3YL …

  9. Getty

    How The Letter “X” Creates More Gender-Neutral Language

    by Rory GoryThe letter X is often used to represent the unknown or the indescribable. In English, there are so few words beginning with X that in Samuel Johnson’s famous early dictionary, X was defined as, “a letter, which, though found in Saxon words, begins no word in the English language.” The mathematician and philosopher René Descartes used the letter X to represent variable quantities …

  10. Getty

    Malpractice, Malarkey, And Other Words From The Second Democratic Debate

    The Democratic candidates squared off this week in their second, two-night debate in Detroit, Michigan, ahead of their party primaries. As the candidates made their pitch to voters for why they should top the Democratic ticket against Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, we were watching some of the standout or hot-button words they were using—and that drove viewers to look them up in …

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