Trending: trope

Lookups spiked 900% on March 6, 2019

Why are people looking up trope?

Trope was among our top lookups on March 6th, 2019, after the word was used in a number of tweets by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

What does trope mean?

Trope has several meanings, including “figure of speech,” “a common or overused theme or device,” and “a phrase or verse added as an embellishment or interpolation to the sung parts of the Mass in the Middle Ages” (the first two of these are somewhat more common in present-day English than is the third).

Where does trope come from?

Trope came into English before the 12th century, from the Latin tropus, which in turn may be traced to the Greek word trepein, meaning “to turn.”

What is notable about this use of trope?

This is not the only literary term in English to come from a Greek word dealing with turning. We also have boustrophedonic (“of, or pertaining to the writing of alternate lines in opposite directions, one line from left to right and the next from right to left”), which comes from a Greek word meaning “turning like oxen in plowing.” Oddly enough, no one seems to use boustrophedonic in their tweets.

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

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