Trending: malarkey

Lookups spiked 500% during the presidential debate, October 22, 2020

Why are people looking up malarkey?

Like a moth drawn to flame, or an aged chanteur enchanting his fans with the songs that had made him famous, Joe Biden once again uttered what surely is one of his favorite words, during his second and final debate with Donald Trump. That word is malarkey.

What does malarkey mean?

Malarkey is defined as “insincere or foolish talk; bunkum.” The word has been in use since the early 20th century, and is of unknown origin. If someone tells you they do in fact know where it came from, well, you know what word to use in response. Joe Biden does appear to have a particular fondness for using malarkey. It has trended in lookups multiple times over the past several years (see here and here), always as the result of Biden’s use.

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.

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