Where Illin' Came From

More
This weekend's New York Times crossword puzzle has sparked a linguistic debate: What does the word "illin'" really mean? A clue in this weekend's puzzle read "Wack, in hip-hop," for which the answer was: Illin'. Upon seeing the "right answer" for this clue, writer Julieanne Smolinski a.k.a Boobs Radley questioned puzzle editor Will Shortz, saying in an e-mail to him, reposted on Gawker, "These are not the same things, at all!" -- she actually believes the word means the exact opposite, "'Ill' in a positive sense," she clarifies in a later email. Citing two slang dictionaries and Urban Dictionary, Shortz disagrees, these sources all point to synonyms for wack. "It seems to me the clue is fine," he wrote back. The debate went unresolved, as even Gawker's own writers couldn't agree on the definition, the post prompted a "shouting match at Gawker's HQ." So, what does illin' mean?

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

articlePromo.png

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In