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Lookups spiked 154,000% on May 22, 2019
Folderol made a rare appearance in our top lookups on May 22nd, 2019, after Jacob Rees-Mogg used the word, speaking in the House of Commons.
Has anyone else had to look up the meaning of the word "folderol" that Rees-Mogg has just used in his question to the PM?— Paul Hammond 💙 🇺🇦 (@hammy42new) May 22, 2019
We define folderol as either “a useless ornament or accessory” or “nonsense.”
Folderol comes from fol-de-rol (or fal-de-ral), nonsense syllables commonly used as a refrain in songs. Although the non-musical sense was thought to have originated in 1820, recent findings show it in use earlier in the 19th century.
If I should contract debts in the States after I become a Spanish subject I make myself liable in Augustine, but as it is now you may whistle what tune you please for your own amusement, but let me beg you not to trouble me with any more of your folderol–for I will not answer you—Yours, &c. Obadiah Potter
— The Balance, and, State Journal (Hudson, NY), 8 Jan. 1805
It is all folderol; they know nothing of good living.
— George Bourne, The Spirit of the Public Journals, 1806
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.