Lookups spiked 12,000% on December 14th, 2018
Nebulous shifted its amorphous bulk and stumbled to the top of our lookups on December 14th, 2018. Interest in the word was aroused after the British made a valiant attempt to validate Christine Teigen's belief that their political system is confusing and oft-inexplicable.
NEW - Two expert lipreaders tell 5 News that Theresa May accuses Jean-Claude Juncker of describing her as nebulous.— Channel 5 News (@5_News) December 14, 2018
This is how the conversation went, according to the lipreaders: pic.twitter.com/IuP99fJiXG
Nebulous may be defined as "indistinct, vague" or "of, relating to, or resembling a nebula." It would appear that Theresa May felt the "indistinct" sense was intended. But if we are to be honest, when dealing with a story involving Brexit, lip-readers, and somewhat obscure words of Latinate origins, it is difficult to establish any semantic certainty.
The word comes from the Latin nebulosus ("misty"). It is not often encountered as a personal insult.
In Moreau's picture the gigantic deity, encrusted with jewels and bearing a pink lotus flower, is impervious to the small nebulous woman slithering from his heavily embossed knee.
— Anita Brookner, The Times Literary Supplement (London, Eng.), 18 Mar. 1977
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.