Trend Watch

Egregious

When:

Lookups spiked on September 25, 2012.

Why:

On the final play of the Monday Night Football game between Seattle and Green Bay, Seattle's Hail Mary pass seemed to end in an interception — but was instead ruled a game-winning touchdown.

Football fans reacted with disbelief, frequently describing the call as egregious: "very bad and easily noticed."

At NFL.com, for example, Gregg Rosenthal wrote: "The final call was egregious because it was so obviously wrong and came on the heels of a brutal final quarter of calls."

(A few days later, the NFL reached an agreement with its game officials to end their lockout and remove the replacement officials responsible for this and other errors.)

Egregious comes from the Greek words that mean "apart from the herd" – i.e. outside of normal or acceptable standards or behavior.

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
February 28, 2015
pontificate Hear it
To speak pompously or dogmatically
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears