Lookups spiked 1,400% on June 25, 2021
Draconian was among our top lookups on June 25th, 2021, after the word was used by Derek Chauvin’s attorney, at the hearing in which the former Minneapolis police office was being sentenced for murdering George Floyd.
Eric Nelson, Derek Chauvin's attorney, says there are a great number of people who will feel whatever sentence is imposed today, it will be too lenient, others will see it as draconian.
— The Telegraph (London, Eng.), 25 Jun. 2021
Draconian is often found in the context of law, used with the meaning “of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws held to have been framed by him.” Draco was an Athenian lawmaker in the 7th century B.C.E. who created a written code of law. Draco’s code was renowned, and subsequently remembered, for its severity, although it was intended as a clarification of existing laws. Draconian may also mean “cruel” or “severe.”
These experts began to recommend a draconian diet for all the small future champions who will one day bring home million-dollar contracts. Fortunately for the kids, there were plenty of other experts to contradict them, and so they were saved from starvation.
— Ananda Devi, The Massachusetts Review, Winter 2010
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.