Trend Watch

Furlough

When:

Lookups spiked on October 1, 2013.

Why:

With the shutdown of the U.S. government, 800,000 federal employees are technically furloughed – so they won't be paid and can't go to work until Congress passes a continuing resolution.

Furlough can be used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it means "a period of time when an employee is told not to come to work and is not paid," and as a verb it means "to put (a worker) on furlough."

The word was originally used to refer to leave granted to soldiers (hence the connection to government employees), and comes from the Dutch word meaning "permission."

Photo: Juanita972 / flickr

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