Lookups spiked 6,100% on May 15, 2020
Maras, the plural form of mara, defined as “a long-legged long-eared rodent (Dolichotis magellanica) closely related to the cavies and widely distributed in southern South America,” spiked mightily in lookups on May 15th, 2020, because of … well, to be honest, we think it was because of a widespread inquiry into the spelling of morass.
"Stone to stone across the morass, as my father used to say," says @NYGovCuomo, who just announced beaches in NY will open for Memorial Day.— Timothy Aeppel (@TimAeppel) May 15, 2020
The word actually used by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, was morass, which we define in the following ways: “marsh,” “a situation that traps, confuses, or impedes,” and “an overwhelming or confusing mass or mixture.” Cuomo had very little, if anything, to say about South American rodents.
The Americans, however, after a severe contest, were at last obliged to give way, and retreat across the morass.
— The Military Repository (New York, NY), 2 Jan. 1797
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.