Urban Dictionary


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I started Urban Dictionary as a freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I started it because I felt like traditional dictionaries weren’t keeping up with changes in language – in contrast, Urban Dictionary receives a new definition every 30 seconds.  I started it to parody the authority of the traditional dictionary. A traditional dictionary is used to settle arguments between friends about pronunciation and word usage, but who says that the dictionary’s answer is right for everyone? By including or excluding definitions, traditional dictionaries set limits on what expression is valid, and what isn’t. In contrast, any expression is valid on Urban Dictionary – even when the definitions are highly opinionated.

On Urban Dictionary, definitions aren’t written by professional lexicographers. They’re written by everyday English speakers — the real authority on how language is used. They document more than just slang — even words that appear in a regular dictionary are defined in Urban Dictionary.

I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2005 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science. After graduation I worked as an engineer at Google. In 2008 I left Google to work on Urban Dictionary full time. This year it will celebrate its 14th year online.  I love Urban Dictionary. I read it every day and it brings me a lot of laughs. It serves almost 40 million people every month, and Quantcast ranks it as the 105th most popular site in the US. Since 1999 authors have sent in over 7 million definitions.  Urban Dictionary started as a parody of the traditional dictionary, but it has its own personality now and it’s more than a parody. It has developed a rebellious, opinionated, honest, anti-authoritarian personality.”

                                                                                    – Urban Dictionary Creator, Aaron Peckham


Angela Brugioni