Urban Dictionary

For this week’s task, i have chosen an ambiguous website, but one that certainly piques the youth’s interest.

Isn’t it weird that sometimes you have to search more meanings of certain words that are in someone else’s social media status? Can’t they speak in normal English? Or maybe they are and I am behind on new terminology. Honestly, have you gone days without listening to words like “Amazeballs” “Beleiber” “Bromance” “Yolo” ? An over complicated jagron, without any probable explanation. Now-a-days, one’s vocabulary is expected to be “on fleek”. These are one of those times where I log onto Urban Dictionary to get my “411”.

Ok, in simple words Urban Dictionary is a satirical collaborated online dictionary of slang words and phrases. I Admit it started off as a parody of dictionary.com by collage kids back in 1999. But since then UD has grown and profited several features including where new words can be added by visitors to contribute their knowledge. It gained popularity very fast amongst youngsters. People submitting thousands of words everyday, using slurs in their everyday life. By the beginning of 2014 UD featured over seven million definitions, and 2,000 words being contributed each day by frequent net users. However definitions submitted are automatically accepted or rejected by the volunteer editors. Feel free to comment about your opinion on this website.



  1. The urban dictionary is a very interesting example of audience participation. The point you made on how many words are being added per day surprised me. Our language is constantly growing and adapting in order to fit in with our lives, so this allows us to adapt our language and learn new meanings. Allowing the public to add their own definitions is great and in some cases amusing, i believe that in time urban dictionary will continue to grow its already huge database of words and phrases.

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  2. I find this example to be a good one as it not one of the obvious audience participation examples. The site is a great idea and encouraging its audience to add their own definitions is a great way to engage with its audience and make them feel that they can participate on the site. Also it allowing people to understand what others are saying if they do not understand the language that has been used makes it useful.

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  3. I agree with the points you’ve made in your blog post, about how Urban Dictionary allows the public to participate by putting their own descriptions of ‘slang’ words they’ve been using in their own social circle. Also the website itself can be very helpful to keep people up to date with the quickly expanding ‘slang’ dictionary.

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  4. Great example! If you allow me, I would add here that ‘urban dictionary’ is not only shaped by its audience but is also actually a very own product of audience participation in a sense. It originated from the need we had to understand ourselves online.
    It is a great platform. To be honest, sometimes I find urban dictionary more useful than the oxford one. I lost count of how many times I had to resort to it to understand a joke or take part in a conversation.There are some posts out there that I have no idea what they are talking about really.


  5. Urban Dictionary is such a good example! I’d completely forgotten about it until I read this. But I definitely agree that the audience shapes it as we are able to add our own definitions and words into the site. Guaranteed I’m going to have to start using this site more and more soon enough!

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  6. This is the best type of audience participation, its a product created by the audience and then contributed to and managed by the audience.
    The element of democracy in it is thorough.
    Obviously there is a chance some definitions are unpopular, rejected or deleted but its a tool that helps to create an independent culture and understanding between the community that use it.
    An urban thesaurus would be even better.


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