When Paul Ryan became the vice presidential candidate ...
Lookups spiked on August 11, 2012.
Paul Ryan's reputation for getting deep into the details of budget policy led many news outlets to label the vice presidential candidate as a "policy wonk," "budget wonk," "Washington wonk," and "fiscal wonk."
Wonk means "a person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field."
When the word first emerged in the 1950s, it had less to do with specialized details and more to do with social awkwardness - i.e. its meaning was similar to nerd. Today, however, wonk typically refers to an expert on politics.
Photo credit: James Currie / flickr
More Words At Play
Seen and Heard
Lookups for the word spiked after Carter used it to describe Trump
Once a chemistry term, now used increasingly in politics
Everyone's looking for 'amnesty'. Again.
Cruz challenged Trump to a 1-on-1 debate
What is 'the evangelical vote', and when did we start calling it that?