From rapper Kanye West to satirist Andy Borowitz to—who else—President Donald Trump, the trending words this week were driven by a star-studded cast of characters. So, what word really soared into the stratosphere?
Rumors that White House Chief of Staff had called President Donald Trump “an idiot” and said he was “becoming unhinged” helped boost searches for unhinged this week. But, it may have been the president’s usage of the word in a tweet denying the news that really sent it skyrocketing. At the end of the day, searches had jumped 856% for the word (meaning “unsettled, disordered, or distraught”).
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) April 30, 2018
A defamation lawsuit was filed this week by attorney Michael Avenatti on behalf of his client, Stormy Daniels. In it, Daniels’ alleges that President Trump defamed her by the use of the term con job in a tweet back in April. What will come of the lawsuit is anyone’s guess, but we know one thing for sure: searches for defamation climbed 244% after the news was announced! The term means “false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel.” Because this lawsuit is related to a tweet, which was written, the alleged defamation would be libel (slander is a spoken form of defamation).
Rapper Kanye West continued to court controversy this week, appearing on TMZ where he stated “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” Searches for the true meaning of slavery (which does not include “choice”) jumped 149% as a result. The term refers to “the idea of complete ownership and control by a master.”
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) May 1, 2018
We don’t know what’s in the water, but naughty took a meteoric 505% jump this week. Was it because Amanda Holden, star of Britain’s Got Talent, admitted her husband sometimes puts her on the “naughty” step? Or, were teenagers trying to make sense of the very loud shrieks of glee coming from their parents over news that Naughty by Nature will be doing shows this summer with Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Rob Base, and a ton of other folks they’d never heard of? Whatever the reason, it sound like someone’s up to something … naughty.
Speaking of naughty, Chef Omar Pereney got a little cheeky with the Houston Press this week, sending searches for no mames spiking 470%. The Spanish phrase started making the rounds of the internet in the early 90s and is typically used by Mexican Spanish speakers. It’s a crude way of saying “no way” or “stop messing with me.”
Satirist Andy Borowitz helped searches for subpoena climb 119% this week with his New Yorker piece, Trump Deletes Nine Tweets While Attempting to Spell “Subpoena.” Often mispronounced, subpoena comes from the Latin terms sub and poena, the latter of which means “penalty.” Together, in English, they mean “the usual writ for the summoning of witnesses or the submission of evidence, as records or documents, before a court or other deliberative body.”
Republican strategist Steve Schmidt likely didn’t make any friends in the White House when he referred to its current inhabitants as “the most shambolic administration,” but Schmidt’s still a winner in our books. He sent searches for the meaning of shambolic climbing 684%! It means “very disorganized; messy or confused.”
If you think e621 looks more like something someone would use for a password and less like something you’d find in a dictionary, you’re apparently not alone. Searches for the meaning of this mystery phrase were up 410%. So, what is it? Well, searchers for naughty certainly weren’t far off. E621 is an imageboard focused on furry artwork. Much of the content is pornographic in nature, and it contains many hardcore fetishes. But hey, it’s typically cleaner than a similar board, e926.
What other words have been making news? Check out last week’s trends for pansexual, the sword of Damocles, and more!