We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.
Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
November 23, 2012
: a boorish, crass, or stupid person
Henrietta had a few choice words for the yahoo who blocked her driveway with his pickup truck.

"'The night watchman down there picked up something on a motion detector and looked around and saw these two yahoos trying to carry off a pretty good size chunk of bronze and aluminum,' said Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite." — From an article in the Marietta (Ohio) Times, September 25, 2012
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
We know exactly how old "yahoo" is because its debut in print also marked its entrance into the English language as a whole. "Yahoo" began life as a made-up word invented by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver's Travels, which was published in 1726. The Yahoos were a race of brutes, with the form and vices of humans, encountered by Gulliver in his fourth and final voyage. They represented Swift's view of mankind at its lowest. It is not surprising, then, that "yahoo" came to be applied to any actual human who was particularly unpleasant or unintelligent. Yahoos were controlled by the intelligent and virtuous Houyhnhnms, a word which apparently did not catch people's fancy as "yahoo" did.

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of "brobdingnagian" (another Swiftian word)? The answer is ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
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