Trend Watch



Lookups spiked on February 4, 2013.


The skeleton of King Richard III was discovered under a parking lot in England.

This man in the news – often described in media reports as "the last Plantagenet king" – died in 1485.

Plantagenet means "of or relating to a royal house ruling England from 1154 to 1485." The kings of England did not use surnames, but Plantagenet may have originated as a nickname for the French-born founder of the line, who planted shrubs to hide behind when hunting. The Latin name of the shrub was genista, and "plante-geneste" (roughly "shrub planter," in French) became the founder's nickname.

Plantagenet was later adopted as a family name.

How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears