Trend Watch


After reports of a hoax involving a "collar bomb" ...


Lookups spiked on August 3, 2011.


Someone broke into the home of an 18-year-old woman near Sydney, Australia, and strapped what he said was an explosive device to her neck. That "collar bomb" eventually turned out to be an extremely disturbing hoax.

According to news reports, the intruder wore a balaclava.

A balaclava is a knit cap used for protection against the cold that covers the head, neck, and most of the face. It is sometimes worn as a mask by criminals and terrorists.

The name comes from the site of a Crimean War battle in 1854, where the British army reportedly first used these caps.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!