Word Trends


Word Trends: Hobgoblin, Unsullied, Schlimazel

Some words, such as affect, metaphor, and irony, hold relatively steady in lookups at Dictionary.com regardless of what’s happening in pop culture, politics, or social media. Other words shift wildly in rank and volume, often as a ripple effect of a news item or event that has piqued people’s curiosity—we call those trending words. Here are few notable [...]

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Lexical Investigations

Democrats vs. Republicans: Which Came First?

Since Democrats and Republicans appear to have an inexhaustible appetite for enjoying political friction, it seems worth offering some insight on which label came first, in the hopes that each group can use it to browbeat the other. The short answer is that republican came first, but as with so many political issues, that does [...]

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You Didn’t Invent That: Jane Austen and Baseball

A good rule of thumb when informed that a word has a particularly interesting origin, or that a famous person was the first one to use it, is to assume that this is not the case. True, you will probably annoy the person who is sharing this information with you, but you will be correct [...]

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You Didn’t Invent That: F. Scott Fitzgerald and “Jazz Age”

F. Scott Fitzgerald is widely viewed as having been the inventor of the term jazz age. Numerous books, academic and otherwise, have proclaimed that Fitzgerald named the decade, coined the term, invented the phrase, and so on and so forth. There is no doubt that the phrase became much more widely used after the publication [...]

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