The crowd-sourced dictionary was also used in a sexual harassment court case in Tennessee to define the phrase „to nut“ as „to ejaculate“. That’s a lot of service from this exquisite and unorthodox resource, and it’s not atypical. With more than four million definitions submitted so far, and 2,000 more coming in every day, Urban Dictionary is a stunningly useful document that unlike most media is made and used by actual young people — in droves. In a typical month, 80 percent of its users are younger than 25. The population with the biggest ego stake in slang — divining it, protecting it, practicing it, spreading it, declaring it over — actually creates and patrols the content. Urban Dictionary is being used to determine the acceptability of vanity plate names in some U.S. states. More serious is the continued tradition of dictionary use in legal cases, where the interpretation of a single word can have grave consequences.

Urban Dictionary

In 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court said that the Department of Motor Vehicles could not deny the personalized license plate “HOE” because Urban Dictionary said it meant prostitute. “A reasonable mind would not accept the Urban Dictionary entries alone as adequate to support a conclusion that the word ‘HOE’ is offensive or inappropriate,” the justices wrote.

You have to wonder how the original bands feel about the slandering and mass misunderstanding and misuse of their originality with those of the unoriginal. Wiktionary is an interesting comparison because it takes a much more formal approach to crowdsourcing. This is a sister site to Wikipedia, run by the same Wikimedia organization. It records only word definitions and employs guidelines about how these should be compiled. Moderators edit the content, control vandalism, and aim to generate high-quality results.

It can take years for slang terms to be included in traditional dictionaries, whose editors want to be certain that the words have staying power. By contrast, some new words rush into Urban Dictionary in less than a day. As a result, the site has cropped up in dozens of court cases in recent years, according to a Lexis database of federal and state cases, although the outcome rarely rests solely on a definition. Urban Dictionary has been criticized for hosting and failing to remove offensive submissions, including ones containing racist and sexist content. For example, the abundance of racist definitions of „aboriginal“ prompted a petition calling for their removal on which received over 7,000 signatures.


Some examples include, but are not limited to, „Angry Hitler“ and „Russian Candy Cane.“ Anyone can submit a new word, or a new definition for a word already in the dictionary. More than three million definitions have been submitted in the decade or so that Urban Dictionary has been on line. Peckham and his team of editors update the site daily, adding about 1,000 new entries every day. As of 2013, Urban Dictionary has been used in several court cases to define slang terms not found in standard dictionaries. For example, the slang term „jack“ was used to define the name the defendant used for his team, „the jack boys.“ Urban Dictionary was also used in a District Court complaint where a man posted a threat on a gun exchange Facebook page to „murk that cocksucker“.

Urban Dictionary

NetLingo contains thousands of words and definitions that describe the online world of business, technology, and communication. Recovery Rebate Credit The Library of Congress is making its Web Archives Collection available for educational and research purposes., unlike more formal dictionaries, mentions the Canadian association early and often. After having all the words and definitions incorporated into Watson, it began responding to researchers‘ questions with profanity, leading the programmers to remove it from its memory and adding an additional filter to prevent it from swearing in the future. By July 2020, the dictionary had over 12 million definitions.

Additional References

The Library has obtained permission for the use of many materials in the Collection, and presents additional materials for educational and research purposes in accordance with fair use under United States copyright law. In addition, crowdworkers found that much of the Urban Dictionary content was offensive, but that this cntent tended to get lower votes. Aaron Peckham started the online site Urban Dictionary in 1999 as a college student. The court noted, however, that according to Urban Dictionary, “jack” means “to steal, or take from an unsuspecting person or store.” It then rejected the convicted man’s claim that he should not have to make restitution to the owner of a van he stole to use in a robbery. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design.

Of course, Urban Dictionary is also a repository of adolescent grossout humor, often humor about sexual practices that are the stuff of urban legends (uh, penis McFlurry?). This isn’t just a matter of trifling but ultimately harmless terms. Bigoted words and definitions have thrived on the site, but Peckham believes that offensive words should be left intact. It’s clear from a quick browse through the trending terms that the users are particularly titillated by women’s bodies (e.g., twatopotamus) and sex between men (e.g., vaginal intolerant). An academic study of the site was published in February 2007 by researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and Arizona State University. The research investigated not only the way some definitions receive more value and legitimacy than others, but also the processes by which the slang words are formed. Brown realized that this formalization of informal language might be a great way for Watson to understand the way real people communicate.


We streamlined the content, created some new ways to explore, opened up the page layout, and made creating and submitting an entry super easy. Informal language has a tendency to be dirty, nasty language. Its insults and cuss words, new names for gross old things, old names for gross new things, etc. And so, we learn from Fortune’s Michal Lev-Ram, they had to delete all that human messiness from Watson’s memory. ACL materials are Copyright © 1963–2021 ACL; other materials are copyrighted by their respective copyright holders. Materials prior to 2016 here are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Urban Dictionary

Derek Denis, a linguistics researcher at the University of Toronto, agrees that the datestamp function is useful. The other key aspect, he points out, is the use of bookkeeping to unearth indexical meanings, or the social meanings of words. For him, the first example that comes to mind is the interjection eh.

External References

To work out what proportion of definitions these make up, the team had crowdworkers assess each to determine whether it was an opinion or a meaning and whether they were familiar with it. The Urban Dictionary is a crowdsourced website that records new words and their meanings. It began life in 1999 as a parody of but has since become an important resource on the Web.

We preserved the logo to maintain the brand’s attitude and spirit, but modernized it by simplifying and flattening to white and yellow. Secondary colors were added and the user-interface was redesigned to create a greater sense of energy and variety.

Urban Dictionary

Lastly, bookkeeping has a discussion forum where users can vote on new features the site should implement. The crowd-sourced repository of internet slang is rife with racist and sexist content. Many, if not all, of the websites in the collection and elements incorporated into the websites (e.g., photographs, articles, graphical representations) are protected by copyright. You are responsible for deciding whether your use of the items in this collection is legal. You are also responsible for securing any permissions needed to use the items. You will need written permission from the copyright owners of materials not in the public domain for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. You may also need permission from holders of other rights, such as publicity and/or privacy rights.

Word Origin For Urban

Limitations affecting access to the archived content include a one-year embargo period for all content in the archive. Content outside of the embargo period is updated and made available regularly. For more information visit theWeb Archiving Program | For Researchers page.

Posted by: Romain Dillet

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert