Word Facts

  1. What Is The Difference Between “Delegate” vs. “Superdelegate”?

    In any election, there’s a ton of information to get a handle on. When can you vote? Can you vote early? Where can you vote? And oh yeah, who and what are you voting for? On top of all that, the electoral process in the US can be just plain confusing—no matter how much attention you, ahem, paid in American Government class. There’s the general …

  2. “Economic” vs. “Economical”

    Cheap, expensive, lavish, meager, a steal, or a rip-off. These are just some ways to talk about an item that costs money. But there are two other words used to talk about money as well: economic and economical. These words have two different meanings, despite them both being adjectives. Plus they’re also only two letters off, adding to the confusion. It’s pretty likely you’re mixing …

  3. “Breach” vs. “Breech”: Don’t Confuse The Two!

    English is full of homophones, or words that have the same pronunciation but vastly different meanings, origins, and spelling. Some of the most confused homophones include their/they’re/there; affect and effect; and complement and compliment. Let’s add another pair to the list: breach and breech. Are you a whale watcher? A lawyer? A gun owner? You might know the definition of these words. But do you know how …

  4. Where Did African American Vernacular English Come From?

    Dictionary.com’s United States of Diversity series by Taneesh Khera Welcome back to our United States of Diversity series, where we travel the country exploring the minority languages, dialects, and people that live here. In this episode, we’re happy to give you our tribute to African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Also called Black English or Ebonics, a blend of the words ebony and phonics, AAVE is …

  5. Getty

    What Is The Longest Palindrome In English?

    Poor Dan is in a droop. Sit on a potato pan, Otis. What do these—admittedly very unusual—sentences have in common? They’re palindromes. Palin-what-in-the-what-now? What is a palindrome, and where does the word come from? A palindrome is a word, sentence, verse, or even number that reads the same backward or forward. It derives from Greek roots that literally mean “running back” (palin is “again, back,” and …

  6. What’s The Difference Between “Caucus” vs. “Primary”?

    In the US voting system, there are two rounds of voting generally every two and four years. First, a primary or a caucus is held. During those, voters pick a party nominee. For example, in a Democratic primary, voters (often but not necessarily registered as Democrats) would pick among Democratic candidates for an office. The winner of that election then goes on to run in …

  7. Wary vs. Weary: How To Tell Them Apart

    Wary and weary are words that make us do a verbal double take. Have you ever started out saying “I was wary of the situation,” pause, and think: “Wait, or was I weary of the situation?” We have! There are several factors that contribute to the confusion between these two words. For one, both are adjectives often used to describe one’s feelings. For two, they …

  8. Wise Up To The Difference Between “Knowledge” vs. “Wisdom”

    Is it better to have wisdom or knowledge? Can you have one without the other? And which comes first? If you’ve ever searched for acumen into these two brainy terms, we’re here to help break them down.  Wisdom and knowledge have quite a bit in common. Both words are primarily used as nouns that are related to learning. They’re listed as synonyms for one another …

  9. Is There Such A Thing As A True Synonym?

    A thesaurus is a handy catalog of synonyms full of exciting (astonishing, flashy, lively!) words we can use in our writing. While it’s tempting to grab an electrifying word and go when we look for a synonym, this practice presents some pitfalls. Every word in the English language has its own particular place, and it’s even possible to claim that there is no such thing …

  10. What Is The Difference Between “Yea” vs. “Yeah”?

    Yeah … these two words seem the same but which one should you use? Yea vs. yeah Yea can be used as an informal adverb meaning “yes” or “to affirm,” or as a noun to indicate an affirmative vote. When used in a vote, yea can be pronounced like “yay.” Yea can also be used as an adverb to amplify an adjective or to say …