Coleslaw And Other Trending Words On

Is coleslaw a salad? What’s another way to say wedding? Both questions answered and more in the August 24–31, 2018 edition of trending words on!


Debates over just how certain foods should be categorized are legendary. Is the hot dog really a sandwich? (Yes). Is white chocolate really chocolate? (No). Podcaster Jon Lovett joined the fray with a tweet this week pondering how to classify coleslaw. “Is it a salad?”, Lovett asked, sending thousands to for the answer. And that answer is … drum roll please … yes! Coleslaw is defined as “a salad of finely sliced or chopped raw cabbage, usually moistened with a mayonnaise dressing.”


The death of Arizona Senator and naval war hero John McCain was announced August 25 by his family, and as people across the nation prepared to pay tribute, it was no surprise that searches for maverick rose 2,706%. The 81-year-old earned the nickname Maverick during his 2000 run for the presidency, but it’s a term that could sum up much of his life, stepping across the aisles. A maverick, after all, is “a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associate.”


Watching Mallory Bechtel, a recent high-school grad who’s the newest star of Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, perform a solo version of the musical’s “Requiem” could send chills up and down your spine. If it also makes you curious about the meaning of the song’s title, you’re not exactly alone. After the video of Bechtel’s solo went viral, searches for requiem climbed 703%. Rooted in Latin, the term refers to “any musical service, hymn, or dirge for the repose of the dead.”


An appearance by comedian Louis C.K. at New York City’s The Comedy Cellar, paired with news that former Today Show anchor Matt Lauer may make a return to television, fueled debate this week over what it means to atone for one’s sins. Essays on the subject, including one from The Atlantic’s Hannah Giorgis titled “What Does Redemption Actually Mean” and another from The New York Times’ Roxane Gay helped send searches for the word redemptio soaring 241%. The word means “an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake.”

Dog whistle and monkey

Accusations that Florida Republican Ron DeSantis had used a racist slur about his Democratic opponent in the race for governor had a dual effect on searches on this week. When asked about his opponent, who is a man of color, during a Fox News interview on Wednesday, DeSantis said “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.” Searches for the meaning of monkey swiftly climbed by 2,310%, while thousands of searches for dog whistle put the term on the trending list for the very first time.

WATCH: Women: Stop Saying These Words


It’s baaaaaaack! The pumpkin spice latte, also known as the PSL, returned to Starbucks on Tuesday, coinciding with a 9,378% spike in searches for the meaning behind the acronym.


Screenshots from a woman’s announcement that she would be cancelling her wedding because friends and family did not pony up the $1,500 (a piece!) she expected from them to help cover the cost of her big day has kept the internet talking. Is it real? Is it fake? Who knows! What we do know is the continuous coverage helped boost searches for the word nuptials by 396%. So, what does it mean? Well, it’s just a fancy word for “wedding.”

Find out why belligerent and brigandish had folks talking last week. 

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