Handsome And Other Trending Words On Dictionary.com

During the week of January 18–24, 2018, our word with the biggest search increase was handsomeUp 1069%, handsome had some recent newsworthy recognition. Here are a few of the stories:

  • It’s been 10 years since Heath Ledger’s death January 22, 2008, and he’s been remembered this week for his handsome looks on top of his immense talent.
  • In Japan, women are now paying to cry with a handsome man. According to National Geographic, “[there is a] group crying service that encourages people to cry together while a ‘handsome weeping boy’ wipes their tears away. Known as rui-katsu or ‘tear-seeking,’ the practice is especially popular with women and is said to relieve stress levels.”
  • “A dozen beasts have been disqualified from this year’s Saudi ‘camel beauty contest’ because their handlers used Botox to make them more handsome.” Thanks HuffPost for this quote.

Fondue is a new trending word for us; it’s never trended before! So, what’s going on with fondue this week? The most interesting thing we could find is that the NoMad hotel in NYC is now offering a fondue menu. What’s on it, you ask? Well, it looks like this is strictly cheese fondue (sorry to those with a sweet tooth), and the recipes are inspired from the chef’s upbringing in Switzerland. Yum.

Up in searches by 418% this week is the word calumny. The pope inspired this trend, here’s why:

Pope Francis has been a pretty progressive pope, as popes go. But, he recently took a trip to Chile where a lot of sex-abuse scandals have broken out . . . sound familiar? When he was questioned about the abuse, specifically about a bishop he appointed (Barros) who was accused of witnessing molestation by Reverends firsthand and doing nothing, the pope responded: “The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, then I’ll speak,” he said. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?” Chileans weren’t all too pleased with this response.

Savant is up 110% in searches this week because there may be a way for you to develop new skills without any practice at all . . . but only if you have sudden and severe physical trauma. Sudden savant syndrome (or acquired savant syndrome) is the official name for this skill acquisition, and Newsweek reported about it this week.

Furlough was on our trending word list for two days this week, and it peaked at an increase of 255%. We’re sure you already know why this one made the list, but here’s a brief summary:

Last weekend, the government was shut down. Government workers were placed on furlough, meaning they shouldn’t and couldn’t go to work on Monday. That means the workers wouldn’t be paid either. Luckily, the government reopened (for now) Monday afternoon, and everyone went back to work (and got paid).

Frontline put whimsy into our trending words list (up in searches by 382%) with this article about who other than President Trump:

“Whimsy in the White House”, in which the journalist states: “Whimsy, it seems, is the main motivation for Trump’s policies.”

The article has a great intro too: “A joke circulates on social media. A man calls the White House. He says that he wants to be the President of the United States. The operator says: ‘Are you an idiot?’ The man replies: ‘Is that a requirement of the job?'”

Aw, don’t you love those fun movie montages set to an upbeat song where the characters try on different outfits or wigs or look back on their relationship? Well, something about a montage got people searching, because the word was up in searches by 194% this week. Maybe it’s the fact that the father of the montage was born on January 22nd (120 years ago). Google paid him a tribute by honoring him in the search logo for the day.

This is a funny one; hilarious increased in searches by 231% this week. So, here’s a rundown of some hilarious things that happened recently:

  • A Denver woman, who is a self-proclaimed cat lady, released birth announcements for her kitten. They were, needless to say, hilarious.
  • A family released their family photos taken by a “professional” photographer who went a little overboard with the Photoshopping. We bet you can guess how they look . . .
  • Redditors had some fun at the expense of Donald Trump, or really at the expense of one of his photos. They did some creatively hilarious things with Photoshop.
  • Ryan Reynolds sent Betty White a very happy and hilarious birthday message . . . tinis and weenies anyone?

Alliumphobia is a new word to the trending list. We’re giving the credit for the trend to Bonappetit. They published this article: “The Key to Juicy, Perfectly Cooked Meat? Let It Sit Out.” In it, this line seemed to have spurred some interest: “There are a lot of weird food phobias out there (alliumphobia, anyone?) and yet a quick google search turns up no term for “fear of raw meat.” And, they even added a link to Dictionary.com! Thanks Bonappetit.

And, last but not least, is the word irrational, which increased in searches by 130%. Now, there are a lot of irrational things we could talk about, especially these days, but this story piqued our interest so we’ll give them the trendsetting honor. One Green Planet published this article: “Why Trump’s Irrational Fear of Sharks Is Actually Turning Out to Be a Great Thing.” In the article, they revealed:

“This type of irrational, childish fear is comedic at best, but conservationists were initially concerned that the President’s viewpoint would have a negative effect on the already fragile existence of sharks. However, the result has been quite the opposite, as donations toward ocean and shark conservation groups have skyrocketed since his fear of sharks has been revealed!”

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