Cheesecake, Racketeering, And Other Trending Words On

Food, food, glorious food made its presence known in a big way on this Thanksgiving week edition of the Trending Words list. From a rarely used plural for beef to a beef over the proper way to describe cheesecake, here’s what had you searching November 16–23, 2018!


If there’s one thing Americans love, it’s food. We have a whole holiday centered around consuming it, after all! But, the one thing we may love even more than food itself is arguing about food definitions.

Take this week’s debate over cheesecake, kicked off by Today Show host Savannah Guthrie’s confession that she considers cheesecake a pie. The result? A flurry of searches for the truth! We didn’t disappoint you #TeamCake fans. A cheesecake is defined as “a cake having a firm custardlike texture, made with cream cheese, cottage cheese, or both, and sometimes topped with a jamlike fruit mixture.”


The return of Viola Davis to theaters in this weekend’s Widows certainly made its mark on the box office. But, it was Davis’ usage of the word authenticity that made its mark on searches.

In an interview with NPR, Davis noted, “My definition of success is legacy, is significance. And also, might I add, my authenticity is my rebellion.” The result? A 494% spike in searches! The word refers to “one’s genuineness.”


The arrest Monday of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine on racketeering and weapons charges drew a flurry of interest in the meaning of the word racketeering. Searches were up 3,158%, as folks learned the Gummo rapper had been accused of “the practice of conducting or engaging in a racket, as extortion or bootlegging.”

Poison-pen letter

The world has its eyes on the United Kingdom this week, where British Prime Minster Theresa May is facing copious criticisms for her handling of the country’s exit from the European Union—aka Brexit.

Many of May’s own party colleagues are among her detractors, and it’s been said that poison-pen letters are being written by rebels within the ranks. It’s this term that took a leap on this week, after the letters were reported in The New York Times and British newspapers. Fortunately, there’s no actual poison involved in the creation of these ominous-sounding missives. A poison-pen letter is simply “a letter written in malice, usually anonymously, and intended to abuse, frighten, or insult the recipient.”


President Trump’s visit to the fire-ravaged area of California prompted a rocketing in searches for the meaning of raking this week. The reason? Trump told reporters that in talking with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto he learned that Finland wildfires are infrequent because the country spends “a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things.”

Niinisto has since said raking did not come up in conversations with the American commander-in-chief, but it didn’t stop #rakefinlandgreatagain from spreading across social media. Nor did it stop the fevered searches for the meaning of raking, which climbed 234%. Raking, of course, is a verb that refers to “gathering, drawing, or removing with a rake.”‘

WATCH: Trumps Misspellings On Twitter Drive Searches


A therapist for Heather Locklear made the tough call to police this week that landed the Melrose Place star in a psychiatric facility on what is known as a 5150 hold. Searches for the number string climbed 218% as a result. A 5150 refers to “the California law code for the temporary, involuntary psychiatric commitment of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to signs of mental illness.”


On Thanksgiving week of all weeks, we can’t tell you quite why beeves would trend on We do imagine the turkeys had something to do with putting the plural of beef top of mind though.

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