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It's a vibe! A look at what makes a vibe a vibe

An illustration of a hand outstretched with flower petals flowing from it into the air.
Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images
Digital Vision

You must have heard the term “vibe” by now, right?

We’ve heard about the vibe of the election, the vibe of the economy, the vibe of a music playlist, the vibe of a season, the vibe of a party … Plus there are vibe shifts and vibe checks.

This hour: vibes. We learn what the word really means, where it comes from, and how the internet has given it new life.


  • Kyle Chayka: Contributing writer for The New Yorker covering technology and culture on the Internet
  • Robin James: Editor for philosophy and music at Palgrave Macmillan
  • Eda Uzunlar: Freelance journalist and student at Yale University
  • Ben Zimmer: Linguist, lexicographer, and the “Word on the Street” columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Colin McEnroe, Taylor Doyle, Jacob Gannon, Cat Pastor, and Catie Talarski contributed to this show.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.
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