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Word History

Words of the Year: 1066

Why is pig meat called 'pork' and cow meat called 'beef?' Because English took on a big serving of French words following the Norman Conquest.

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play video title words of the year 1066
Words of the Year: 1066


English was never the same after the Norman Conquest

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Webster's Dictionary of 1864


The landmark edition that transformed the way dictionaries are made.

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How a Word Gets into the Dictionary


What our editors are looking for when they enter words in Merriam-Webster.

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How to Remember 'Affect' and 'Effect'


A simple way to keep them apart. (Most of the time.)

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Is 'None' Singular or Plural?


Or both? Or neither?

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Some Odd Words with ISMO: "People Tipping"


Comedian ISMO on the complexities of the word 'tip'

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Pictures in the Dictionary


The story of those iconic illustrations.