City Desk

D.C. Doesn’t Know the Meaning of “Gun Control” or “Whig”

Even in D.C., which is consistently ranked as one of the nation's smartest cities, people need to refer to a dictionary every now and then.

So just what presumably six-syllable words are locals looking up?

Dictionary.com compiled lists of the top 10 word searches  in various cities, and D.C.'s top two are—wait for it—"gun-control" and "Whig."

According to Dictionary.com, D.C. users searched for "gun-control" 29.4 more times than the national average and searched for "Whig" 26.1 times more than Dictionary users across the country.

Here are the rest of D.C.'s top searches on Dictionary.com, followed by how many more times D.C. looks up these words than the national average:

  • paralympic (26)
  • retiree (24.3)
  • fanciest (22.6)
  • mixologist (15.3)
  • oozing (12.8)
  • xxx (11.7)
  • carnelian (11)
  • blah (7.8)

In case you're actually curious, here are the definitions of "gun-control" and "Whig" via Dictionary.com:

Gun Control-(noun) government regulation of the sale and ownership of firearms.

Whig- (verb)- to move along briskly
(noun) American history; A member of the patriotic party during the Revolutionary period; supporter of the revolution.
British politics; a member of a major political party (1679–1832) in Great Britain that held liberal principles
and favored reforms: later called the Liberal party.

First person to define "carnelian" in the comments gets a Washington City Paper T-shirt.

Gun photo by Shutterstock

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  • Ben

    a hard red chalcedony used in jewelry

  • Tom

    car·nel·ian (n): a semiprecious stone consisting of an orange or orange-red variety of chalcedony.

  • Thapsaa

    carnelian - a semiprecious stone consisting of an orange or orange-red variety of chalcedony.

  • J.D.

    Carnelian-- a brownish-red mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone.

  • Dan Crawford

    Carnelian is a shade of the color red, and a gem stone.

  • Miriam

    Isn't carnelian a mineral/semi-precious gemstone?

  • candice broda

    Carnelian: a red gemstone in the quartz family.

  • https://twitter.com/ranpuba Randall M.

    Carnelian: 1. a brownish-red mineral which is commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone.

    2. an individual or group who emphatically conducts sexual liasons with carnies.

  • Perry Stein

    I think we have a winner! Ben, who came in with the correct definition at 1:32!

  • Jane

    "Blah"?

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