Trend Watch

Gaffe

When:

Lookups spiked on June 12, 2012.

Why:

The word was widely used in commentaries about President Obama's remark that the private sector is "doing fine."

For example, according to a headline from The Atlantic, "Romney Finally Has an Obama Gaffe He Can Work With."

Gaffe means "a mistake made in a social situation" or "a noticeable mistake."

In French, gaffe originally meant "boat hook." Sailors' slang for the mistakes of inexperienced shipmates probably evolved into the word's current meaning.

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