Lookups spiked 128,000% on July 23, 2020
Kraken was among our top lookups on July 23rd, 2020, after it was announced that this name would be adopted for the National Hockey League’s newest team.
Seattle’s incoming NHL franchise has picked “Kraken” as its team name, eschewing more traditional options and going with a monicker that generated some of the most heated debates among local fans.
— Geoff Baker, Seattle Times, 23 Jul. 2020
We define kraken as “a fabulous Scandinavian sea monster.” Please note that our definitional use of fabulous is more in line with sense 2 of that word (“told in or based on fable”) than it is with sense 1b (“wonderful, marvelous”). Although, to be honest, we all think kraken are pretty darn marvelous as well.
The word kraken comes from Norwegian dialect. It has been in use in English since the middle of the 18th century.
Sect. X. Concerning great Snakes in other countries. Sect. XI. Of the Kraken, Krabben or Horven, the largest of all animals.
— Erich Pontoppidan, The natural history of Norway, 1755
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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