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Lookups spiked 3,100% on September 4, 2020
Obsequious topped our lookups on September 4, 2020, when, in responding to questions from reporters about President Trump's relationship to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden answered:
Why is he so afraid of Vladimir Putin? What's the problem? Nothing, nothing. It's almost obsequious.
Obsequious is defined as "marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness" or "too eager to help or obey someone important."
Obsequious comes from the Latin root sequi, meaning "to follow," and the prefix ob-, meaning "toward." Sequi is the source of a number of other English words, including consequence (a result that follows from an action), sequel (a work that follows an original version), and non sequitur (a conclusion that doesn’t follow from what was said before).
Remordyng dyuers recrayed and moche vnresonable errours of certayne Sophystycate scolers and rechelesse yonge heretykes lately abiured &c. Shall euermore be (with all obsequious redynesse) humbly submytted vnto the ryght discrete reformacyon of the reuerende prelates and moche noble doctours of our mother holy churche &c.
— John Skelton, Honorificatissimo, 1528
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.