Vocabulary

Time Traveler by Merriam-Webster: Words from 13th century

See which words were first recorded in 13th century. Or search for other words by the year when they were first used.

Etymology

Words We're Watching: 'Gig Economy'

"I'll get us a Lyft."<p>"The Postmates guy is downstairs with my Taco Bell."<p>"That website still owes me money."<p>Phrases like this are quite common in the</i> …

Etymology

Beach Slang’s van and trailer recovered! (you can donate to help out with gear)

<b>Beach Slang</b>‘s van and trailer with all their grear was stolen in Seattle over the weekend, and in what is some good news, police were able to recover …

Words We're Watching: 'Pizzly' vs. 'Grolar'

In the spring of 2006, the untimely death of a very unlucky bear introduced to the English language the need for a new word, and thus was born a pair …

Etymology

35 Brilliant and Interesting Words to Add to Your Vocabulary

Besides the complexity of speech, we are still creating new words. In the first three months of 2015, there were about 500 new words in the Oxford …

Language

Captain Kirk helps B.C. kid’s enterprise

William Shatner has thrown his support behind a local boy’s bid to add a new word to the dictionary, and he did it on Twitter for all the world to …

William Shatner

Nas Wanted to Change the Vocabulary of Hip-Hop

In the latest animated short from Foot Locker and Timberland for the footwear company’s Legend’s Club series, Nas explains how in an effort to raise …

Rap & Hip-Hop

8 More Words for Inept People

: a writer of light or inferior verse<p>The teacher is Nira (Sarit Larry), a woman with a warm professional manner and pleasant, ordinary middle-class …

Etymology

How to Use 'Munificent' and 'Beneficent'

The handful of English words that end in <i>-icent</i> share both a rhyming last syllable and a Latin heritage, but not much else. One of them, <i>magnificent</i>, …

Etymology

'Jive' vs. 'Jibe' vs. 'Gibe'

Does your <i>gibe</i> <i>jibe</i> with your <i>jive</i>? Or is your <i>jibe</i> <i>jiving</i> with your <i>gibe</i>? This trio of words has some overlapping qualities (not to mention letters), and …

Etymology

Out of the 'Ether'

New words and senses can emerge from the farthest reaches of the imagination and find a home in the English language. Some seem to come from the …

Etymology

Do We Get 'On Track' or 'Untracked'?

When someone is achieving or doing what is necessary or expected, we say they are <i>on track</i>:<p>Codey plans to introduce a bill that would take away a year …

Etymology

Under The Sea : Sea urchin

Pity the porpoise: sometimes endangered, often thought to be a fish, usually confused with dolphins. From its very earliest appearances, the porpoise …

Etymology

Fruit vs. Vegetable

It's easy to go through life feeling like you know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, but it's likely that at one time some truculent …

Etymology

Definition of URCHIN

The young chef brings a trio of spankingly fresh <i>urchins</i>, whole scampi, and fish carpaccio, naked but for a few drops of olive oil and citrus.<p>The …

Etymology

8 Nicer Ways to Say 'Stupid' : Ignoration

<b>Definition:</b> stupid, silly<p>Here we have a lovely example of a word which began its life (in our language, at least) with a figurative meaning, and only …

Language

Making Words with Thanksgiving Vocabulary: Hardship, Cooperation, and Gratitude

Hello, Teaching Friends!<p>For a deeper understanding of what Thanksgiving is really about, our students need to master words that go way beyond turkey …

Thanksgiving

Definition of SHILLY-SHALLY

SHILLY-SHALLY Defined for English Language Learners<p>Learn More about <i>shilly-shally</i><p>Seen and Heard<p>What made you want to look up <i>shilly-shally</i>? Please tell …

Etymology

9 Fanciful Words for Your Favorite Things : Dilly

Everything about this little bee is adorable, including her knees.<p>Photo: AleksandarNakic<p><b>Definition</b>: a highly admired person or thing<p>A bee's knees …

Etymology

8 Words and Phrases from the Road

<b>Definition:</b> to operate a motor vehicle at high speed or so as to create a great deal of engine noise<p>We now so associate the word <i>vroom</i> with the …

Etymology

Trending: 'Veteran' Searches Up Ahead Of Holiday

<i>Veteran</i> rose to the forefront of our lookups on November 10th, 2017, with increased interest in the word arising from the imminent <i>Veterans Day</i>, a …

Etymology

A new origin for ‘reefer’?

When different words with similar sounds cross paths in a word’s history, the work of etymology can be difficult. For example, the verb hang has …

Language

How to Use 'Dependent' and 'Dependant'

The suffixes <i>-ant</i> and <i>-ent</i> are alike in sound and meaning, and they often give a noun or adjective variant spellings. For instance, <i>propellant</i> is the …

Etymology

Name That Thing: Animal Edition: Weekly Challenge

We know you're excited to learn a new word. We are too.<p>Sign up for our <b>Word of the Day</b> daily newsletter and get excited every day!<p>No thanks, I don't …

Etymology

The Unsteadiness of 'Drank' and 'Drunk'

Perhaps you have, at some point, found yourself saying "I have drank..." or "I had drank...." Pretty reasonable. Or maybe you’ve used <i>drunk</i> rather …

Etymology

Language Is Magic : Hocus pocus

Photo: VeraPetruk<p>Here's where all the magic (sense 2b) begins: with <i>magic</i>.<p>The word <i>magic</i> goes back to the 1300s, and it originally referred to rituals, …

Etymology

'Insure' vs. 'Ensure' vs. 'Assure'

Do you find yourself jolted awake in the middle of the night, seized with the paralyzing dread that you may have used either <i>ensure</i>, <i>insure</i>, or <i>assure</i> …

Etymology

Anatomy 101: Obscure Words for Body Parts

<b>:</b> face<p>This charming synonym of <i>face</i> packs a punch:<p>The real Truth is, any one would guess him to have been a seven Years Apprentice to the Prince of …

Etymology

Trending: GOP Rep: Election A 'Referendum'

<i>Referendum</i> (which, before you ask, may be pluralized as either <i>referenda</i> or <i>referendums</i>) rose to the top of our lookups on November 8th, 2017, with an …

Etymology

Build Thanksgiving Vocabulary with Riddle Cards

Hi, Teaching Friends!<p>WOW, there are a lot of new content area vocabulary words flying around when we start to teach our little learners about …

Thanksgiving