Trending: infrangible

Lookups spiked 3,700% on January 31, 2022

Why are people looking up infrangible?

Infrangible trended in lookups on the last day of January, 2022, after the word appeared in an article in The Washington Post, referring to Donald Trump’s penchant for converting single pieces of paper into many pieces.

But despite the Presidential Records Act — which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, email, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties — the former president’s infrangible shredding practices apparently continued well into the latter stages of his presidency.
— Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey, Amy Gardner, and Tom Hamburger, The Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2022

What does infrangible mean?

We define infrangible in two ways: “not capable of being broken or separated into parts” and “not to be infringed or violated.” It would appear that the Post reporters used the word quite adroitly, intending the second sense but with a playful nod to infrangible’s first meaning.

Where does infrangible come from?

Infrangible comes in part from the Latin frangere, meaning “to break.” It shares this root with a number of other English words, such as infringe (“to commit a breach of”), fedifragous (“faithless, perfidious”), and naufrage (“a shipwreck”). Something that is readily or easily broken” is frangible.

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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