Trend Watch

Trump: Not Clapping is 'Treasonous'

Lookups rise 5900% after Ohio speech


Lookups for treason spiked on February 5, 2018, when President Trump used the word during an appearance at an Ohio factory. At a speech about tax reform, the president campaigned for Republican candidates and attacked congressional Democrats for, among other things, not applauding him sufficiently during his State of the Union address:

Un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not. I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much. But you look at that and it’s really very, very sad.

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Photo: Gage Skidmore

Treason comes to English from the Old French 'traison,' which can be traced back to the Latin 'tradere' (“to hand over, betray”).

Treason means “the crime of trying to overthrow your country's government or of helping your country's enemies during war” and has also had the more specific legal meaning of “the act of levying war against the United States or adhering to or giving aid and comfort to its enemies by one who owes it allegiance.”

Treason was also used during the same day to refer to the information from the recently released intelligence memo, which Republican congressman Paul Gosar said “constitutes treason” on the part of the FBI.

Trend Watch tracks popular lookups to see what people are talking about. You can always see all Trend Watch articles here.



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