Trend Watch

Tapper: 'Ignominious Defeat'

Lookups for 'ignominious' increased by 4,695% after Jake Tapper used the word to describe the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Ignominious (“marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame”) raced to the top of our lookups on March 24th, 2017, immediately after the decision by Republican House leaders to not hold a vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The word shares a root with a large number of other English words, such as nominal and misnomer; all these come in part from the Latin word for “name” or “repute” (nomen). The combination of this with the negative prefix ig- served to give ignominious its sense of "losing one’s good name."

Ignominious has been in use in English since at least 1525, when the word may be found in a translation of the Roman historian Sallust.

And suffre nat this excellent honoure & glorie which ye haue nowe optayned by boldnes: to be quenched and decay agayne by ignomynious cowardyse.
—Sallust, Here Begynneth the Famous Cronycle of the Warre (trans. By Alexander Barclay), 1525

Schadenfreude took the silver medal for the hour.

Trend Watch tracks and reports on the words that people are looking up. You can see all the Trend Watch articles here.

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