Trending: apoplectic

Lookups spiked 1,300% on February 7, 2019

Why are people looking up apoplectic?

Apoplectic spiked in lookups on February 7th, 2019, something this word does with some regularity (usually as a result of some well-known person being very mad at something or other). In the instance the spike in lookups was driven by a post written by Jeff Bezos and published on medium.com, in which the owner of Amazon alleges that David Pecker (publisher of the National Enquirer) recently behaved in an scurrilous manner, and, moreover, seemed to be apoplectic.

Back to the story: Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is “apoplectic” about our investigation. For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.

What does apoplectic mean?

Apoplectic has meanings which are literal (and dated), and a somewhat figurative use (the more common sense encountered today). The oldest sense of the word is “of, relating to, or causing apoplexy or stroke.” The more common sense used today is “extremely enraged.”

Citations

Take a hundred Swallowes, an vnce of castoreum, as much Wyne as shall suffice, & of the best that can be found. Distil all together and geue the Pacient drynke thereof thre Dragmes fastyng. This water is also verye good for men that be apoplectique yf they be wasshed with it.
— Girolamo Ruscelli, The thyrde and last parte of the Secretes of the reverende Maister Alexis of Piemont, 1562

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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