VOCABULARY.COM BLOG

Adding to our collection of Beatles linguistic analysis (we've written about the iconic band's pronouns, nonsense sounds, and gear language) and in a manner reminiscent of recent analysis of rappers' vocabularies, the Liverpool Echo has conducted a vocabulary survey of British pop music, and concluded that the Beatles "have one of the smallest vocabularies in pop music." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Fun, Language, Vocabulary
On Lexicon Valley, Slate's podcast about language, I'm taking part in a regular feature. I come prepared with a mystery word, and the hosts have to guess the word itself and its origins. The first word didn't remain a mystery for very long: discombobulate. Continue reading...
In honor of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, which signals the close of the month-long Ramadan fast and takes places at sundown this evening, we bring you a new vocabulary list: Food and Drink Words with Arabic Roots. Continue reading...
"A breath of fresh air." "Few and far between." "At the end of the day." These are just a few of the clichés examined by Orin Hargraves, an experienced lexicographer and one of our regular contributors, in his new book It's Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches. In this excerpt, Hargraves explains how to "free your speech and writing of unneeded and detrimental clichés." Continue reading...
TOPICS: Books, Language, Writing
It's summer reading season, a great time for vocabulary growth. One summer reading option, Carol Weston's Ava and Pip, a novel for young readers, takes engagement with words to a new level, introducing the concept of words as toys to be taken apart and shaken around before being put back together. Continue reading...
Mignon Fogarty, better known as her alter ego Grammar Girl, has been sharing a series of short tips on usage and style. In her latest installment, she explains why the plural of the word ox is oxen instead of oxes. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Grammar, Language, Usage
When you play Vocabulary.com, you'll see a wide variety of question types quizzing you on the meanings of words. But so far, the questions have been entirely text-based, relying on definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences. Today we are pleased to announce a brand-new type of question that takes advantage of the visual potential of vocabulary learning. Continue reading...
When you visit your bank's website or enter a credit-card number, you've probably noticed that in the browser's address box, the URL begins with https. The "S" stands for "secure," and the security technology your browser uses for that "S" represents one of the great inventions in the history of secrets. In this piece I'll walk you through some of the terms of that rich field. Continue reading...
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