Word Trends

crab monster fixed

What word spiked thanks to a Martian crab monster?

An intriguing image from the Mars Curiosity rover, developments surrounding Cecil the Lion, and the first GOP presidential debate caused terms to spike in lookups this week. extradition: the procedure by which one nation turns over to another nation an individual charged with or convicted of a crime in that jurisdiction. The killing of Cecil [...]

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Lexical Investigations

You Didn’t Invent That: Charles Dickens and Boredom

Charles Dickens is often given credit for inventing words that he was not the first to use. This is not surprising, if only because he was much more widely read than some of the people who had used these words before him. Dickens was also far more attuned to the language of the streets than [...]

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The Origin of Black Friday

With Thanksgiving feasts come Black Friday sales. While many people believe the term Black Friday finds its roots in the sense of black meaning “showing a profit; not showing any losses,” this is not the case. Historically, black has been associated with days of economic stress as opposed to days of booming commercial success. The [...]

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