Trend Watch

Investigators Corroborate Portions of the Russia Dossier

Lookups for 'dossier' spiked after the news that U.S. investigators had confirmed portions of a dossier on Trump's ties to Russia

Lookups for dossier spiked after U.S. investigators announced that they could corroborate some of the details found in a report by a former British intelligence agent. The corroborated details include conversations between Russian government officials and other Russian nationals which concern Donald Trump’s personal and financial dealings.

None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals.
—Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez,, 10 Feb. 2017

Dossier means “a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject.” It comes directly from French, where it can mean “the back of a chair” or “a file or sheaf of papers” as it does in English. The word appears to be of relatively recent adoption, with appearances in English prose dating from the 19th century.

I may, however, mention from high legal authority, that the President laboured under a mistake when he demanded the displacement or even communication of the “dossiers” (legal papers) of the Boulogne and Strasburg affairs.
Freeman’s Journal (Dublin, Ireland), 11 Jan. 1849

Lookups for salacious and corroborate also increased in the wake of the news. Corroborate means "to support with evidence or authority; to make more certain." Salacious means "appealing to sexual desire or imagination"; it trended when the dossier was first released to the public.

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