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

Hand of shadow-woman with fluttering petals
Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images
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You must have heard the term “vibe” by now, right?

We’ve heard about 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

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Colin McEnroe, Taylor Doyle, Jacob Gannon, Jonathan McNicol, Cat Pastor, and Catie Talarski contributed to this show, which originally aired November 15, 2022.

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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.