Lookups spiked 37,000% on May 8, 2019
DEFCON moved to the number one spot in our lookups on May 8, 2019, after CNN coverage of the standoff between the House Judiciary Committee and President Trump began with the headline:
Trump-Congress confrontation goes to Defcon 1
The Judiciary Committee's request for the unredacted Mueller report met with President Trump citing executive privilege to withhold it. The Judiciary Committee Chairman, Congressman Jerry Nadler, was quoted as saying that "The phrase constitutional crisis has been overused, but certainly it's a constitutional crisis."
DEFCON is defined as:
any one of five levels of U.S. military defense readiness that are ranked from 5 to 1 according to the perceived threat to national security, with 1 indicating the highest level of perceived threat
Defcon is a compression of the words "defense condition"; it was coined by the U.S. military and its use goes back to the height of the Cold War in 1959.
Figurative use of DEFCON 1 is not unprecedented.
James Mattis resigns; America on DEFCON 1
—Economist.Com, 21 December 2018
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.