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Lookups spiked 4,000% on March 24, 2020
Apex jumped to the top of our lookups on March 24th, 2020, after the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, used the word in reference to the continuing rise in coronavirus cases in that state.
NEW: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, "The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought, that's a bad set of facts."— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) March 24, 2020
We define apex in several ways: “the uppermost point,” “the narrowed or pointed tip,” “the point of sharpest curvature in a path,” and “the highest or culminating point.”
The earliest use of the word, beginning in the 16th century and now quite obsolete, was “a small rod at the top of a flamen’s cap” (a flamen is a type of priest, especially one in ancient Rome).
Yet for aduantage he hath also falsified Tertullian, Englishing these woordes, Illum panem, Him, as if it were the person of a man: as Thomas Ualois writinge vpon S. Augustine, De ciuitate Dei, hath turned this woorde, Apex, which was the tufte or creaste of the Flamines hatte, into a certaine Chronicler that wrote stories.
— John Jewel, A replie vnto M. Hardinges ansvveare, 1565
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.