Events New Stuff Words, Words, Words’s 2021 Word Of The Year Is …

Do you remember last year’s WOTY?

I know some if you guys aren’t into my obsession with words, but I don’t think I’ve missed a WOTY post since I started. That being said, is one of my favorite dictionary sites. Oooo… I wonder if I could get a sponsorship?! Probably not when the next post will most likely contain 42 f-bombs, a couple c-words, and something obscene and objectable! Sigh. You can be smart and still be a weirdo or pervert. Visit their site next time you look something up, or after you read this!

2021 was a year defined by the many ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the polarization of 2020—and the various ways we continue to grapple with them.

The vastness of such a year could never be fully summarized with a single word. But there is one word that’s intertwined with so many of the things we’ve experienced in 2021: allyship, our 2021 Word of the Year.

allyship (noun): the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership.

As our Word of the Year for 2021, allyship carries a special distinction this year: It marks the first time we’ve chosen a word that’s new to our dictionary as our Word of the Year. Our addition of the word allyship to our dictionary in 2021—not to mention our decision to elevate it as our top word for the year—captures important ways the word continues to evolve in our language and reflects its increased prominence in our discourse. Allyship acts as a powerful prism through which to view the defining events and experiences of 2021—and, crucially, how the public processed them.

It also serves as a compelling throughline for much of our lexicographical, editorial, and educational work across and Eeeeeee3 the noun ally, “a person who advocates for or supports a marginalized or politicized group but is not a member of the group,” and –ship, a noun-forming suffix here denoting “status, condition.” This specific sense of the word ally is, notably, one we also updated this year.

Developing out of the word’s general meaning of “supporter,” the application of ally in contexts of social justice is first evidenced as early as the 1940s in an article by Albert W. Hamilton on “allies on the front of racial justice” for Black people. The article, notably, features the term white allies, which has proliferated ever since. Another now-common term, straight allies—non-LGBTQ+ supporters of the LGBTQ+ community—dates back to at least the 1970s.

📚 Did you know? While the word allyship dates back to the mid-1800s, the word ally itself is much older in the English language. It’s first recorded around 1250–1300, ultimately coming into French from the Latin alligāre, “to bind together, combine, unite,” which is in turn based on ligāre, “to bind.” This Latin verb is the source of many other English words, including alloy, league, ligament, obligation, religion, and rely.

While newly added to our dictionary this year, allyship is, of course, not a new word in the English language. It’s first attested around 1850 in a broader sense of “the relationship or status of persons, groups, or nations associating and cooperating with one another for a common cause.” Its primary meaning today—when a person who is not a member of a marginalized group works for its inclusion in society—spread in the 1990s.

But use of the word allyship skyrocketed in the past 15 years. In fact, since 2011, frequency of the word, according to our data analyses from various corpora (big, searchable collections of texts), has surged an average of over 700%, including a steep rise in 2020 that continued into 2021. The word ally itself landed within the top 850 of the many thousands of search terms that led people to this year. What’s more, the top related search for allyship in 2021 is definitional in nature: what is allyship, which underscores the timeliness and relevance of our adding allyship this year.

Allyship at work, school, and home Topics people searched in conjunction with allyship in 2021 also reveal how the word brings together themes that defined many of our work, school, and home lives over this year—including new and newly prominent vocabulary that we used to talk about them. One of these searches was workplace. Indeed, as the country continued to reckon with racism in 2021, many businesses and organizations began efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI for short. These efforts extended into the classroom, where critical race theory (CRT), both as a term and topic, became a defining flashpoint in 2021. Work and school were also defined by COVID-19 vaccines—as well as antivax opposition to them and the disease’s Delta, Omicron, and other named variants.We added the word allyship this year to document its specific sense that has become more prevalent in recent years. But the word continues to evolve: In 2021, allyship was increasingly discussed in relation to historically marginalized groups, especially Black and LGBTQ+ communities. There was also noticeable discussion of engaging in allyship for other specific groups: for parents balancing work and childcare during school shutdowns, especially mothers taking on the bulk of caregiving. For healthcare workers, teachers, flight attendants, and retail and service industry workers. For all of the people disproportionately burdened by a pandemic that has claimed over 5 million lives—and counting, even as many of us try to get back to some kind of normal. Shows of support and advocacy for these groups in 2021 point to ways in which the term allyship is giving name to ever more nuanced ideas of social justice and is increasingly being extended to contexts of support outside of racial, gender, and sexual identity, such as disability and economic status.

Allyship in news and culture The word allyship also brings together many of the defining new stories of 2021: anti-Asian racism; the Chauvin and Rittenhouse trials; Britney Spears’s conservatorship; Simone Biles’s twisties and the mental health of athletes; the Great Resignation; the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its impacts, including on the country’s women and girls as well as all who served and died in the war; media coverage of violent crimes and the phenomenon known as “missing white woman syndrome” (um, WTH is this missing white woman syndrome phenomenon?!); and that collective, pervasive feeling of burnout, all amid an unrelenting climate emergency. These events were notable not only in their own right, of course, but also because of the ways we largely reacted to and discussed them through the lens of who gets a voice, who deserves empathy, and who and what is valued. This was a lens of allyship.

According to corpus data, the word that, far and away, most commonly precedes allyship is performative. The three next most frequent collocations are true, white, and real. Despite the best intentions of societal efforts to foster allyship, use of the term allyship is frequently concerned about how such efforts often fall short and what it means to be an authentic ally.

📝 What’s performative allyship? In the context of allyship, the word performative is often used in contrast with what’s considered real or true allyship. Describing people’s actions as performative suggests that they are simply “playing the part” of being an ally instead of actually supporting the people they claim to—often by centering themselves in the situation.In this sense, allyship is often considered a status that must be continuously earned—not one that’s simply declared by oneself and worn like a merit badge. In other words, allyship can be understood as an ongoing journey, not a final destination. Not unlike a dictionary: always updating, never a finished product.On the other side of the spectrum, the use of words like allyship is sometimes criticized as “woke for the sake of being woke”—often as a way of dismissing the very idea that inequality exists among different groups.On the other side of this lens, on the other side of allyship, is the division that came to a disturbing and deadly head in the event that opened 2021: the attack on the US Capitol on January 6. It was a defining moment not only for politics this year, but also for the history of our democracy. The attack sent searches for insurrection, coup, sedition, and related words to some of the highest-trending levels on all year.

Allyship across The word allyship also brings together much of the lexicographical and educational work we did across in 2021.This year, we continued updating our dictionary to better document and describe the changing language of identity and justice in society. Significant areas we addressed were: Accessibility language: Examples include new entries for screen reader, alt text, and various distinct types of captioning. DEI topics and terms: Examples include entries for DEI, JEDI, CRT, UBI, and minoritize. Disability language: Examples include extensive notes at special, disability, and disabled discussing person-first vs. identity-first language for disabilities, and the preference of straightforward disabled or with a disability over older terms (handicapped) and overly euphemistic language (special, challenged). Homelessness: Examples include new entries for unhoused and unsheltered and replacing most descriptions of people as homeless with these new terms or with experiencing homelessness. Identity language: Examples include new entries for AAPI and BIPOC, revising entries to capitalize Indigenous when referring to people, and replacing the noun slave with enslaved person. Mental Health: Examples include new entries for content warning and trigger warning. Minoritized religions: Examples include revisions to Voodoo and related entries. Nonnative speakers: Examples include translanguaging, which is increasingly preferred to code-switching.Altogether, these updates touched hundreds of entries. Our lexicographers also updated our thesaurus to include scores of nonbinary pronouns, such as xe and zie.

Read more about many of these changes, along with ongoing COVID, tech, pop culture, and other updates to our dictionary, in our spring and summer announcements.

Supporting these updates was an array of editorial content providing in-depth context on these often confusing—and challenging—areas of language change.This content—amounting to over 60 articles—spanned defining identity terms and DEI topics (e.g., CODA, cultural competence) to providing more inclusive coverage of important occasions across diverse peoples and cultures (e.g., BIPOC Mental Health Month, International Transgender Day of Remembrance, Onam, Installation of Guru Granth Sahib) and extensive explainers on some of the most pressing topics of language and identity today. Some highlights of the latter include: The Language Of Ageism: Understanding How We Talk About Older People, The Evolving Language Around The Autism Spectrum: What You Need To Know, How To Talk About Mental Health: Do’s, Don’ts, And Words To Know, Understanding The Caribbean: The Countries, People, And Words That Come From The Region, Understanding Native American Heritage: The Tribes, Languages, And Culture, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Columbus Day, And The Language Of Indigenous Identities, How To Use Gender-Neutral Language To Promote Inclusivity, Allyship in education.

This year at, we’ve been committed more than ever before to becoming an education ally. From building out the features of Grammar Coach™ and the Dictionary Academy™ to bringing the learning-management system Skillo into our company, we continue to expand our offerings as a dictionary and thesaurus into more robust educational products to meet the real needs of teachers and learners in a variety of learning environments.Allyship into the future.

Finally, allyship has the power to bring us all together. In trying and divided times, the word allyship sounds a much-needed note of hope, optimism, and possibility for the future—hopefully a future in which the word is not just given lip service, but lived out.

Here’s to hoping we can all get allied around that.

That’s it for this one, guys! That copy and paste just wears me out! 😂🤣 I will see you shortly, many surprises ahead…

P, L, & N💋


31 Days Of Halloween Events Extreme Horror halloween Horror Humor Shenanigans

Maggots got ya down?

Here we are with all of October before us, the time of year we wait for, the thirty one days we can let our hair down, and be ourselves.

This is our first year as readers with Godless Horror, and all the best of what we love is at our fingertips for so inexpensive that it almost don’t feel right! The authors are extremely giddy, putting out new content just for us, and I know my immediate TBR has never been so exciting!!

There’s just one problem, or problem area. Yeah, you read the title. I know that I feel like even though it’s going to give me the full on heebie-jeebies, It’s time to finally read Mother Maggot by Simon McHardy, Maggot Girl by Otis Bateman, Hell, even Lindsay Crook serves some up in Love Stumped! If my ‘badge of honor’ is what gets me started, fine, because I know that once I’m into them I’ll be laughing, and crying, and gagging, and laughing more because of the gags!!

Are you like me, and think you’ll be ok? Or maybe you’re worse, but you’re friends with the author(s) and think it would look bad if you didn’t R&R their books? It doesn’t matter what is holding us back, because I think I ran into an accidental cure.

But we can’t do it alone. We are going to call on our friend Sea Caummisar for some quick CBT! She can help train our brains to not see these vile, disgusting, shit eating hell bugs for what they are! She wrote a story called ‘PUNPKINS FOR CHEAP’. Run grab it from Amazon now. I’ll wait. Because this grotesque horror novelette is going to cure our phobias, and tame our gag reflexes! Have a peek at her South Park style disclaimer – This book should never be read by anyone. It’s gross and immature. It’s almost as if a small child wrote it. If you enjoy poorly written dark humor, you might like this book. I mean, there’s a chapter titled ‘Tampons Are Not Yummy’. So use your imagination as to what kind of story this is.

What if maggots evolved and wanted to take over the world?

A maggot has invaded Jimbo’s brain. The maggot has plans to make baby maggots and sell them inside jack-o-lanterns..

Get yourself settled in a nice comfy spot, cup of coffee or Mtn. Dew. You skipped dinner, right? (Hey, they’re STILL maggots, it just a safeguard for your carpet.)

If you finish this story, I don’t see how you could NOT want a little baby maggot of your very own! Dress it up, feed it 💩, have cute & quirky little names for all of it’s brothers and sisters, and talk baby talk to them all! “Who’s gonna take over the world one day… You are aren’t you!”

I know that I am feeling pretty empowered since I just reread PUNPKINS, (well – this time I listened to the audiobook version), and I think I’m about ready to see if I can make it through these titles without quitting, or puking. Thank you, Sharon ❣️ We owe you!

On the other hand – I take no responsibility for your brain, and if this has the opposite effect, if you become so phobic that you can’t even eat rice, or you try to claw your face off because you see maggots in the chicken… hey – anything for Halloween, right? 🎃

Happy reading – stay safe & stay healthy!

P, L & N 💋


Mothet Maggot, Maggot Girl, and Love Stumped are all available on the Godless app and

Punpkins For Cheap is available on KU, and Amazon.


Love Stumped

Maggot Girl E1 A Maggoty Metamorphosis

31 Days Of Halloween Events Horror New Release


And Day Two Means… Its’ LINDSAY CROOK DAY!


Hank loves his job as the night shift watchman. He sees all that goes on inside the walls of the depraved facility. It’s a playground for the filthy rich. The rules are simple; what the rich want the rich get.  

Yiu can pick up NIGHT SHIFT right off of your Godless App, or scoop it up the dot com for only 99¢ PLUS you’ll automatically be put into the drawing to win a pretty bad ass Godless cranial accessories. You can’t beat that with a stick.

While you’re there, pick up Manic if you haven’t already. This is the one that made me fall in love with her – she’s my hero. Love Stumped is also waiting for you, so maybe just go all in for a menage et trois since it iS Lindsay Crook day.

7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. 604,800 seconds. A lot can happen in one week. What could go wrong?

There was no typo. Ever.

Don’t forget to leave a review on your favorite place to leave reviews! #SupportIndieHorror. If you’d like to connect, you can hit her up on Facebook, or whatever your preferred social media platform may be.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do… Talk to you soon! Stay safe & stay healthy!!

P, L & N 💋


coming soon Events Horror

BloodBoundBooks – BLOOD BANK

A recent post I’m sharing from BloodBoundBooks …

Blood Bank

Blood Bound Books is proud to announce our first charitable anthology: Blood Bank!

Charity is a cornerstone of our company, and our three flagship initiatives can be found here. So when Mark Scioneaux asked for our help in bringing his anthology idea to life, we knew we couldn’t resist.

So far the T.O.C. features: Neil Gaiman, Jo Kaplan, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Lucy Leitner, and Patrick Frievald, and we are signing new authors every week.

As more details become available, including cover art and an official release date for 2022, we’ll announce them on our blog and social media pages. Proceeds of the anthology sales will be split between Read Better Be Better in Arizona and Hagar’s House in New Orleans.

Please take a moment to find out about their missions:

Read Better Be Better:

Hagar’s House:

Watch for further, and upcoming details!

Events Horror Movies Shenanigans

Happy Star Wars Day!

I have way too much fun with this app!

May the Fourth Be With You!

Events Horror New Stuff

For All Your Extreme Needs…

Godless Horror has arrived!




How could anyone deny Jensen Ackles… #NaNoWriMo

#coronageddon Events Horror Writing

You Should Be Writing!(?)

If we turned the pic right now – what would your paper say?!

It’s almost time to get my cheerleader outfit on! We’re just about mid-way, how’s your NaNoWriMo going?

I’ve done my best to stay off social media, so I’m not seeing everyone’s word counts and goals. I stick my toes in the water a little each day, but I’m not seeing #NaNoWriMo like it used to be. Am I not seeing it, or are you not doing it?

Leave me a comment – are you participating this year?

At the halfway mark – how are your goals?

What am I going to be reading? 😉

Why are you still reading this when YOU SHOULD BE WRITING!?

P, L & N 💕


celebration Events PicArt / PicEdit

Celebrate National Paperback Book Day

Take a moment to celebrate the 81 years that paperbacks have been an option for the reading public.

P, L & N💋


Events Fundraising Horror

SCARES THAT CARE 🖤 Saturday, August 1st

Scares That Care Virtual Charity Event – Complete FAQ

Copied – July 26, 2020 from Brian Keene – July 23, 2020

The Scares That Care Virtual Charity Event takes place Saturday, August 1st. Here’s what you need to know…

100% of the money raised during this one-day event will go to our 2020 recipients. They are:

*Ashley Adams and her daughter Natalya, who has Marfan Syndrome.
*Laura, a breast cancer warrior known for her work in Arkansas’s LGBTQ+ community.
*Patricia, who suffered second and third degree burns to the entire right side of her body.

The Scares That Care Virtual Convention will be livestreamed via the Brian Keene YouTube Page and the Scares That Care website, and is accessible to the general public.

Below is the tentative schedule. All times are Eastern. Please note that celebrity appearances (including actors, authors, directors, and other panelists) are subject to availability and may change without notice.

9:00am – 9:15am: Opening Ceremonies with Joe Ripple and Brian Keene

9:15am to 9:50am: LIVE READING – Jeff Strand and Stephen Kozeniewski

9:50am to 10:00am: Fundraising update with Brian KeeneAlfred Guy and O’Malley Brandt

10:00am to 10:50am: JAWS AT 45 – Jonathan JanzVictor LaValleHillary MonahanMatt SerafiniAdam Cesare, and Glenn Rolfe (moderator) discuss why, after 45 years, we’re still afraid to go in the water.

10:50am – 11:00am: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Paul Tremblay

11:00am – 11:50am: MY FAVORITE HORROR COMICS – Tim SeeleyRachel Autumn DeeringJamal IgleCullen BunnMaurice Broaddus, and Matt Wildasin (moderator) discuss their favorite horror comic books of all time.  

11:50am – Noon: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and John Wayne Comunale 

Noon – 12:50pm: HORROR FOR KIDS – Lamar GilesStephanie CookeJonathan MaberryGretchen McNeilBitter KarellaWill Bozarth, and Becky Spratford (moderator) discuss horror for a younger audience.

12:50pm to 1:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and John Dugan

1:00pm to 1:25pm: RETURN TO ELM STREET – Jack ShoulderMark PattonNick Benson, and Mick Strawn reminisce with moderator David Heck about their work on the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.

1:25pm – 1:30pm: Fundraising update with Brian KeeneBrian Smith and Bryan Smith

1:30pm – 2:00pm: LIVE READING – Gabino Iglesias and Cina Pelayo

2:00pm to 2:50pm: MY FAVORITE MONSTER – Stephen Graham JonesHunter SheaScott Baker, the Sisters of SlaughterDee Southerland and Chuck Buda (moderator) discuss their favorite monsters of all time.

2:50pm to 3:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Roy Wooley

3:00pm to 3:50pm: THE WALKING DEAD – David Heck moderates this Q&A with The Walking Dead’s Josh MikelSteve CoulterCooper AndrewsLew Temple and Jayson Warner Smith.  

3:50pm to 4:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Felissa Rose

4:00pm to 4:50pm: THE AMBIDEXTROUS PATH – Mary SanGiovanniStephanie WytovichBracken MacLeodSomer Canon, and Jay Wilburn (moderator) discuss faith and magic in horror and creativity.

4:50pm to 5:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Joshua Leonard

5:00pm to 5:50pm: Q&A – Emmy-award winner Pruitt Taylor Vince discusses his career with moderator David Heck.

5:50pm to 6:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Eugene Clark

6:00pm to 6:50pm: CAN HORROR GO TOO FAR? – CV HuntWrath James WhiteKristopher TrianaAutumn ChristianWesley SouthardAaron Dries, and Armand Rosamilia (moderator) discuss how far is too far.

6:50pm to 7:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Lar Park Lincoln

7:00pm to 7:55pm: COWBOYS AND ZOMBIES – Gemma FilesWile E. YoungKeith LansdaleChristine MorganKenzie Jennings, and Thomas Clark (moderator) discuss the resurgence of Weird Westerns in film and literature.

7:55pm to 8:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Josh Malerman

8:00pm to 8:30pm: BIZARRO HORROR – John Edward LawsonAndersen PruntyRose O’KeefeMichael Alan Rose, and Scott Cole (moderator) discuss surrealism and the supernatural in horror fiction and film.

8:30pm to 8:55pm: Q&A – Night of the Demons’ Amelia Kinkade discusses her career with moderator David Heck.

8:55pm to 9:00pm: Fundraising update with Brian Keene and Joe Ripple

9:00pm to 9:15pm: A SPECIAL PRESENTATION with Joe Ripple and Brian Keene

9:15pm to 9:30pm: COSTUME CONTEST – Celebrity judges Amanda BearseJohn AndersonAmelia KinkadeLynne Hansen, and Matt Blazi discuss this year’s costume contest entries.

9:30pm to 9:40pm: COUNT GORE – Scares That Care Weekend’s beloved Count Gore deVol announces the winners of this year’s costume contest.

9:40pm to 9:50pm: SCARYOKE – Rio Youers and Ronald Malfi present an at home version of this Scares That Care Weekend staple.

9:50pm to 10:00pm: Closing Ceremonies

It's for charity! 🎉
Visit The Scares That Care Store!


Q: What is Scares That Care?
A: Founded in 2007 by Joe Ripple, we are a 501C3 charity. Our Board of Directors and our volunteers are composed of horror fans and professionals. Each year we raise money for three recipient families (a sick child, a breast cancer fighter, and a burn victim).

Q: How can I donate during the virtual event?
A: We will be sharing information on how to donate via text or phone hourly during the event. Yu can also donate anytime by visiting this link.

Q: Can I donate before or after the event, as well?
A: Yes. You can donate year round.

Q: Money is tight. I can’t afford to donate but I’d still love to help. How can I do that?
A: We appreciate you and we understand. You can still by tuning in to the livestream, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.

Q: I’m involved in programming. What do I need to do next?
A: Brian Keene will email you a link before the event. You’ll simply need to click that link about ten minutes before your appearance, and allow access to your computer’s webcam and mic. It’s that easy. (Costume contest judges will be contacted earlier with additional instructions).

Q: I’m a celebrity who works in the horror genre. Why wasn’t I included in programming?
A: We tried to accommodate as many horror professionals as we could, but unlike our physical Scares That Care Weekend charity events, we are limited by the technological restrictions and time constraints of this virtual event. However, you can still help the cause by sharing the event with your fans and encouraging them to donate.

Discover more from BRIAN KEENE