Marina Orlova (Russian: Марина Орлова) is a Russian philologist, etymologist, and author who has become an Internet celebrity, hosting one of the most popular channels on YouTube, HotForWords, and a corresponding website. She also hosts a bi-weekly radio show on Maxim Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio.
Marina Orlova, known to millions of fans around the world as a sexy master of language, HotForWords, is a 28 year old Internet “sensation”. Hailing from Moscow, Marina has two degrees in philology which is the study of linguistics and origins of words. Back in Russia Marina taught English and World Literature to high-schoolers. She came to the United States six years ago to improve her English skills and prepare for her Ph.D., but she ended up staying in the U.S. simply because of the warmer weather.
The theme of Orlova's YouTube videos, which begin with the tagline "Intelligence is Sexy", and of her website, is tracing the origins of English words. Some of her entries focus on common everyday words such as irony and OK, while others address lengthy and rarely used tongue-twisters such as floccinaucinihilipilification and antidisestablishmentarianism. Some entries also address idioms, including "let the cat out of the bag", "dressed to the nines" and "three sheets to the wind" or new words like the verb "to google". As a Moscow Times editorial observes, Orlova's success is not solely attributed to her pedagogical value:
Marina exploits her blonde-bombshell looks to the maximum: She appears in her two-minute clips scantily clad, pouting and making doe eyes. This is surely the main factor in her success. However, while the number of scantily clad girls on the Internet is limitless, not all of them put so much intellectual effort into their success.
The channel became active in 2007, and Orlova has since been voted "World's #1 Sexiest Geek" in Wired Magazine's "Sexy Geek of the Year Contest" contest. G4 TV has similarly listed Orlova among its "Hot Women of the Net" on several occasions, and Cosmopolitan Magazine has identified her as the "most subscribed to YouTube guru". Orlova has appeared on a number of Fox shows including on The O'Reilly Factor, and was profiled on "The Medium", an Internet feature of The New York Times Magazine. In June of 2008, Orlova and radio personality Danny Bonaduce signed endorsement deals with "coComment". As a G4TV profile of Orlova indicates, she received two degrees in philology from the Nizhny Novgorod State University in 2002 and taught English and world literature to high school students in Moscow before moving to the United States to pursue further education.
How did you start Hot for Words and what motivates you to continue?
Since I have two degrees in philology which is the study of the origins of language and the origins of words, I figured that it would be best to do something career-wise that I knew something about and that I had a passion for. I was a teacher briefly in Russia teaching a class of about 20 kids, but when I came to the United States and was introduced to YouTube, I thought, wow, wouldn’t it be great if I taught online to perhaps thousands of people.. plus I wasn’t aware of anybody else doing what I was doing.. so that made it even more exciting for me!
When I got my first thousand views I was thrilled.. and that motivated me to keep making videos.. then I got a couple hundred thousand views which was more views than people in my hometown in Russia and that made me even more excited! Today I am at 210 MILLION views and those numbers are just staggering! I get between a half a million to a million video views every single day and those views translate into thousands of comments and emails every day as well. It’s the sheer magnitude of the number of views each day and the number of comments and emails that I get, that really inspires me to keep making videos day in and day out!
How do you define cool?
Cool, obviously means, slightly cold, but as far back as the year 1000 AD or so, it also meant to cool yourself down emotionally, not to be emotional and that’s the meaning Chaucer and Shakespeare also adopted with the word. To me, being cool means being relaxed, keeping your emotions intact during tough times. Because a person who is cool during a tough situation looks great and people aspire to be cool like that person, cool has also taken on the meaning of not only someone who looks and acts great, but things as well.
What is the key to innovation?
Innovation comes from the Latin meaning “to renew or change.” So I believe the key is to create something new or go about something in a totally new of different manner. When people around you tell you that they think your idea is stupid, that’s almost a sign that you absolutely NEED to do it! I had NOBODY around me thinking what I was doing was a good idea, and now all those naysayers are hitting me up for advice on launching their own things that are based on what I do.
What are your ambitions for Hot for Words?
I have a book that came out on August 15th through Harper Collins called “Hot for Words,” I have an awesome iPhone game coming out that is completely NOT what you would expect and I am creating a game show for online based on my show. But my future is to keep making the videos online that I am making. All of Hollywood and the world is shifting to the Internet, TV is shifting here as well. And since I am already here, it means that things can only grow for me in the future.
What are your most important hobbies?
Since etymology was my hobby and I made it into my career, I find that most of my time is spent doing SOMETHING related to my career! It’s the best of both worlds! Take your interest or hobby and turn it into your career and will find yourself “playing” all the time and getting paid for it!!!
Birthname: Marina Orlova
Country of Origin: Russian Federation