Pardon And Other Trending Words

From the president’s Twitter account to a horse with an unusual name, searches for the meaning of words took folks into some unusual areas of Dictionary.com this week.

Pardon

President Donald Trump’s assertion that he can pardon himself didn’t just have the Twitterverse talking. It also sent searches for the meaning of pardon up 328% this week. We can’t say whether or not a president can pardon him or herself, but we can say that pardon means “a release from the penalty of an offense.”

See you next Tuesday

Talk show host Samantha Bee sent searches for feckless skyrocketing last week, and this week she’s gained another spot on the Dictionary.com trending word list. Bee has apologized for a second time for her use of the term feckless c–t to insult presidential advisor Ivanka Trump. The continued debate over Bee’s epithet usage led to searches for the euphemism often used in place of that particular bit of vulgar slang: See You Next Tuesday got a 400% boost.

Narrow

Reporters took criticism this week for referring to a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission as narrow. Debate came because the justices were split by a rather wide margin of 7–2, but many journalists shot back that the description was apt as it referred to the scope of the ruling rather than the distance between the opinions of the justices. In the midst of the controversy, searches for narrow shot up 70%, with searchers learning that narrow can mean “limited in range or scope.”

Mewling

Mewling sounds a lot like meowing, and it is the sound a cat might make … at least if a cat was crying. Mewling means “crying, as a baby, young child, or the like; whimpering,” which folks who helped boost searches by 4,500% found out this week. Helping drive searches was New York Times opinion writer Michael Powell, whose take on the White House disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles from visiting included this sentence about NFL team owners: “We might pity the owners, who have prostrated themselves before Trump with so much scraping and mewling.”

Merrily

Conspiracy theories about First Lady Melania Trump were put to bed with her reappearance in public this week after three weeks of no shows. But, it was President Donald Trump’s tweet asserting that reporters had seen the FLOTUS walking merrily to a meeting that sent searches for the word up 100%. Merrily can be a noun and an adverb.

Exacerbated

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this week certainly caught folks’ attention. The one-time presidential candidate accused former President Barack Obama of having “exacerbated racism” during his presidency, sending searches for exacerbated up 373%. The word means “to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.” Yikes.

Bofa

Short for “both of,” bofa is generally followed by the phrase “deez nuts,” referring, of course, to testicles. So, why were searches for bofa up 357%? Credit goes to the one and only Bofa Deez Nuts, a horse that won its first race at an Oklahoma City track on Friday. Amazing.

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