Word Trends & Stories

  1. Dictionary.com’s Words To Inspire You For Earth Day

    We love the earth, it’s beautiful, amazing … and it needs our help. The phrase Earth Day originated in 1969. It means “a day’s observance of the need to protect the Earth’s environment, in many countries on April 22.” The first Earth Day was organized by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970. He was upset that politics and media were not addressing the concerns of our …

  2. What Is The Difference Between A “Recession” vs. A “Depression”?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com Economics—as if understanding its facts and figures, number and statistics, and charts and graphs isn’t challenging enough. Economics also relies on some tough terms. No, we don’t just mean the more advanced argot of arbitrage or leveraged buyout. Even more familiar economic terms many of us encounter in the news (or, more frighteningly, feel in our pocketbooks), …

  3. New Words We Created Because Of Coronavirus

  4. How Can This Phrase Exist In So Many Languages?

    There are a few choice words and phrases out there that have a tendency to transcend the language they’re uttered in due to the expansiveness of the idea behind them. So how do you say this common US phrase in other languages?
  5. What Is Your Favorite Word To Use From The ’90s?

    The 90s were a time of interesting fashion, music, and slang. What is your favorite word to use from the '90s ... and do you still use it today?
  6. “Meat” Used To Mean “Food” And Other Meanings That Narrowed Over Time

  7. We’ve Crowned The Dictionary.com Slang Word Champion!

    Update: Voting has closed, and the winner of Dictionary.com’s March Madness Slang Competition is Karen! We started this contest with 64 words, and now after the highly anticipated face-off between our final two, Karen and OK boomer, we have a winner. It’s Karen! So who is Karen, anyway? According to our definition, Karen is a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially …

  8. “Antibiotic” vs. “Abiotic” vs. “Antibody”: What Is The Difference?

    by John Kelly, Senior Research Editor at Dictionary.com In our article on virus vs. bacteria, we noted that vaccines can work on both viruses and bacteria. Antibiotics, however, are only effective against bacteria. But what is an antibiotic, exactly, and how is it different from another, frustratingly similar word: abiotic? And how do both of these words compare to antibody and antigen? This is a …

  9. How Young People Are Redefining “Transgender” And “Nonbinary”

    by Rory Gory While not all transgender or nonbinary people can or want to be visible in society, having language to describe gender identity and expression is extremely important. It helps avoid their erasure in legislation. Language that affirms gender identity—including names, pronouns, and labels—can even be lifesaving for young people. Specific words that communicate the complexities of gender identity, such as agender, demigirl, bigender, …

  10. Slang Final Four Voting Is Open: Will “Karen” Win?

    Update: Voting in the Final Four has ended! Check out the championship round! It’s time to vote on round five of our slang competition at Dictionary.com! After four intense rounds of competition, our March Madness slang bracket has been narrowed down to the Final Four: Karen, OK boomer, low-key, and the struggle is real. The remaining four words in our contest represent an intriguing mix …