From the diamond to the big screen to the Beltway, here’s a look at what sent folks scurrying to Dictionary.com the week of August 10–17, 2018!
The Little League World Series is back, and all eyes have been on Alfred Delia—known back in his New Jersey hometown as “Big Al.” The youngster scored a viral video with his on camera introduction, in which he announced that he’s best known for hitting dingers. And, indeed he does! One of Big Al’s dingers, or home runs, sent searches for the meaning of the word flying as high as a home run baseball. This is the first time dinger has landed in Dictionary.com trending words!
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) August 13, 2018
WATCH: This Is Why You Should Not Judge A Word By How It Sounds
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you see a woman breastfeeding? A pastor in Michigan chastised a mom in his congregation for inspiring lustfulness in male parishioners when she nursed her child in church, rather than hiding away. His comments soon went public, sending searches for the word soaring by 467% this week. The pastor has since apologized. After all, lustfulness means “having strong sexual desires; lecherous; libidinous” … not exactly appropriate when you’re talking about a baby having lunch.
Former presidential candidate (and one-time Massachusetts governor) Mitt Romney shared his thoughts on racism this weekend, as the country faced the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Among Romney’s thoughts was this one: “In this country, it must be electorally disqualifying to equivocate on racism,” which caused a 33% spike in searches for the meaning of equivocate. The word means “to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge.”
Searches for equivocate have surged on https://t.co/EoMLt7nGp1. It means to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead.https://t.co/Hpr0839k82 https://t.co/gjCHoCLvpH
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) August 12, 2018
As white supremacists marched in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, searches for the meaning of 1488 rose on Dictionary.com. The string of numbers is used by neo-Nazi groups as a code of sorts to signal their ideology.
Legislation in a number of Southern states requiring the “In God we trust” motto to be displayed in schools made headlines this week and played a role in the surge in searches for the meaning of theocracy. Defined as “a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler,” theocracy saw a 143% spike on Dictionary.com after the word was used by representatives of the Freedom from Religion Foundation who have been speaking out against the legislation in Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.
A 60 Minutes segment dedicated to a new memorial honoring victims of lynching shed light on the tragic stories of thousands of people of color murdered in America, killed via a method defined as being “put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.” The segment increased searches by 329% as more and more Americans learned this part of the nation’s history.
A new memorial honors more than 4,000 victims of lynching: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice honors African-American men, women and children who were lynched in 805 U.S. counties. https://t.co/s2Zeg56oZR pic.twitter.com/WcjlqcOmWu
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) August 12, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians has been taking the box office by storm, and more than a few reports on the movie’s themes have made reference to the concept of filial piety. If you weren’t part of the 167% spike in searches, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Filial piety is “the important virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one’s parents and elderly family members.”
The president’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan dominated headlines this week, but it was Brennan’s own words that spiked more than 1,800% on Dictionary.com. Searches for the meaning of hogwash climbed more than 7,530% after Brennan penned an article for the New York Times in which he used the word which means “meaningless or insincere talk, writing, etc.; nonsense; bunk.”
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) August 16, 2018
Find out the last time John Brennan landed on the Dictionary.com trending word list.