What Does "Crash Blossom" Mean? Here's Everything You Need To Know About This Odd-Sounding Phrase

The media is full of all kinds of jargon, and it's always evolving so quickly that it can be hard to keep up. The nice thing about the fluidity of language, however, is that it means we can come up with words and phrases for really specific things that you never realized you needed a word for until you had one. Case in point: What does "crash blossom" mean? You may not have known before today, but going forward, you'll be using it all the time. Trust me. Here's everything you need to know about this bizarre yet delightful phrase.

Necessity being the mother of invention, the world realized at one point that we needed a phrase to describe horrible, misleading headlines — and so "crash blossom" was born. Dictionary.com recently added the term to its site, defining a crash blossom as, "An ambiguously worded headline whose meaning can be interpreted in the wrong way."

According to the New York Times, the term originated from a 2009 article in a Japanese newspaper called Today with the headline, “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms." Understandably, the headline left many people confused, because... well, what the fresh hell does that even mean? Evidently, the article was about a child whose father had died in a Japan Airlines crash; the child had gone on to become a successful violinist, blossoming (get it?) despite the loss of the father. In this case, "blossom" was being used as a verb, not a noun. And so the people over at the (accurately named) Testy Copy Editors forum named this kind of a slip-up a "crash blossom."

Need a little more help? Here are seven examples of crash blossoms. They're easy to spot once you get used to their inexplicable weirdness.

1. "Orthodox Jew Flies in Plane Covered in Huge Plastic Bag, Possibly to Avoid Cemetery Flyover"

That would have to be a really big plastic bag to cover the whole plane.

2. "War Hero In Boobs Flash Plea"

This whole headline is a disaster. The story is actually about a soldier who begged a woman giving him medical treatment to show him her boobs to ease his pain (#men though).

3. "Shark Kills Number 100 Million Annually, Research Says"

OH MY GOD HOW DID ONE SHARK KILL THAT MANY PEOPLE?? Or, alternatively, how exactly did a shark manage to kill the number 100 million? I mean... a number is a concept. Can it really be killed?

4. "Israel Ducks on Human Rights"

Honestly, ducks have opinions too.

5. "Lance Armstrong Admits Doping in Oprah Winfrey Interview"

He probably could have waited until after the interview. Seems like it would have been the polite thing to do.

6. "Noam Chomsky: The Gravest Threat to World Peace"

I feel like he isn't, though.

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