Vocabulary – Linsanity, Tebowmania, & Bieber Fever Explained!

We love playing with words in English and creating new words! Recently in North America, three new words have been created to describe strong excitement about someone. You probably have never heard of these three people, but in a short amount of time they have become very popular in North America. People get VERY excited about them, much more excited than usual!

Let’s take a look at these words in more detail.



(Photo by DvYang)

This word is a combination of the last name of basketball player Jeremy Lin and the word insanity. Lin rhymes with in-, so the two words are easily combined. Linsanity describes the sudden excitement and attention around Jeremy Lin.

Linsanity is basketball games selling out (=all the tickets for the game are sold) in every city where his team plays. Linsanity is a 3000% increase in demand for a Lin basketball jersey (=shirt). Linsanity is Jeremy Lin on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a popular American sports magazine!

Lin has become very popular recently because he has helped his team, the New York Knicks, win 7 straight games. He has surprised everyone with his skills. He played in the NBA for two years before anybody noticed him. Few people thought he would succeed. He is Asian, which is rare in the NBA (most of the players are black), and he graduated from Harvard University, a school not known for sports!



(Photo by Jeffrey Beall)

It is also common in English to use the word mania when people get very excited about someone or something. For example, in the 1960s Beatlemania described how millions of American girls went crazy for the British pop band the Beatles!

Tim Tebow is a popular football player in the NFL (National Football League). He is a quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Many people didn’t expect him to succeed in the NFL. They didn’t think he was good enough. Like, Lin, he surprised everyone! When it looked like the Broncos were going to lose a game, he always found a way to win! It was extraordinary!

Tebowmania is everyone talking about Tim Tebow, even people who don’t normally watch football! Tebowmania is people buying Tebow football shirts but with ‘Jesus’ on it intead of Tebow (Tim Tebow is Christian). Tebowmania is 42 million people watching a football game (Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers) and watching Tim Tebow win the game in overtime. Tebowmania is Tebow on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine!


Bieber Fever!

(Photo by Adam Sundana)

If you are crazy about Justin Bieber, you have Bieber Fever!

Justin Bieber is an 18-year-old singer who was discovered on YouTube. He has sold over 12 million records around the world. Young girls go crazy for him! While fever often describes a a higher than normal body temperature, it can also describe a state of excitement or enthusiasm. It also rhymes with Bieber, so it’s a great match! Sometimes Bieber Fever is also called Biebermania!

Bieber Fever is girls screaming very loudly for Justin Bieber. Bieber Fever is 17 million fans on Twitter and 42 million fans on Facebook. Bieber Fever is young girls surrounding the hotel where Justin Bieber is staying and blocking off all the streets. Bieber Fever is girls camping overnight downtown Los Angeles just to see Justin Bieber at the premiere for his movie!


Have you ever been very excited about a sports player, actor, singer, or other celebrity? Tell me in the comments below!


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