Word Trends


Trending Words: Skol, Cyborg, Monokini

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 [...]

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Lexical Investigations

You Didn’t Invent That: Shakespeare’s Spurious Neologisms

One of the most cherished beliefs of people who collect facts about English is that Shakespeare is the greatest linguistic inventor the language has ever seen. You cannot travel very far online before coming across some article or listicle asserting that he was responsible for giving birth to some exceedingly large portion of our vocabulary, [...]

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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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