Emasculate, Incel And Other Trending Words This Week

A babywearing dad. A former White House photographer. A long-running TV show. What do they all have in common? Spots on the Dictionary.com Trending Words of the Week list!

Emasculate

British TV presenter Piers Morgan took aim at actor Daniel Craig this week, poking fun at the James Bond star for babywearing his little girl. Morgan hashtagged the potshot #EmasculatedBond, sending searches for emasculate up 3,393%. To emasculate is defined as “to castrate or to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken.”

Senescent

Looking for the fountain of youth? University of Minnesota researchers might be on the track to finding it or something like it. Working with researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and Mayo Clinic, they say they’ve discovered that a natural compound found in foods like apples, cucumbers, and strawberries could target senescent cells without attacking other healthy cells. So, what the heck does that have to do with the aging process?

Well, senescent means “growing old.” When it comes to biology, the adjective describes cells that are no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active. In light of the new research, searches for senescent climbed 757%.

Native American

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren hoped to put to bed a long-standing debate about her self-professed Native American heritage by releasing a DNA test this week. Instead, Warren was met with anger from indigenous communities as she reopened a debate over what it means to be Native American. Searches for the term climbed 183% on Dictionary.com, where people learned that Native American is officially defined as “a member of the indigenous peoples of North America.”

Dig into the debate over Pocahontas: Is it a nickname or a slur? 

Rogue

President Donald Trump suggested earlier this week that the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the fault of “rogue killers,” sending searches for the meaning of rogue up 508%. When used as an adjective, rogue means “no longer obedient, belonging, or accepted and hence not controllable or answerable; renegade.”

Defrock

The news that Pope Francis had expelled two Chilean priests from the priesthood over sexual abuse allegations reverberated throughout the Roman Catholic Church. It also boosted searches for the meaning of defrock by 2,240%. The term means “to deprive (a monk, priest, minister, etc.) of ecclesiastical rank, authority, and function,” which is another way to describe what the pope did to the priests.


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Incel

Law and Order: SVU¬†may be 20 years old, but the show is still making headlines … and sending folks to Dictionary.com to learn new words. The members of the fictional version of the NYPD’s special victims unit tackled the issue of incels this month, boosting searches for the word by¬†163%.¬†Short for¬†involuntary celibacy,¬†incel¬†refers to “an internet subculture of men who blame women for the fact that they are not having sex.”

Throwing shade

There’s plenty of talk about throwing shade on the internet. Now there’s an entire book about it! Former Obama White House photographer Pete Souza’s newest book, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, hit shelves this week and helped boost searches for the phrase throwing shade by more than 318%.¬†Throwing shade has nothing to do with physically lobbing something at someone. Instead, it is a subtle way of disrespecting or ridiculing someone verbally or nonverbally.

Nationalism

Nationalism has been in and out of the news for several years in America, but searches for the word’s meaning spiked this week in conjunction with the awarding of the prestigious W. Eugene Smith grant to photographer Mark Peterson for his coverage of the rise of white nationalism in the United States. The word refers to “the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.”

Duplicitous

Fans of NBC’s Blindspot welcomed the show back to TV and learned a new word while they were at it. Dubbed “Hella Duplicitous,” the first episode of season four coincided with a week that saw a 154% climb in searches for the meaning of duplicitous. The adjective means “to be characterized by deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing.”

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