Words at Play

Trending at Merriam-Webster: Week of 4/10

Curious what news sent people to the dictionary this week?


People look up random words all the time, but sometimes a lot of people look up the same word—usually because of something in the zeitgeist, such as a shared experience or event.

hamiltome

The release of the "Hamiltome" sent Hamilton fans to the dictionary on 4/12.

This week’s top lookups were so much fun:

The release of Hamilton: the Revolution, known popularly as the #Hamiltome, led to a spike in lookups for tome on 4/12 as more than one of the hit musical Hamilton's fans admitted to looking up the hashtag's definition. And yes, Noah Webster was a Federalist.


Our streak of fun lookups continued when a showing of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Turner Classic Movies led to a spike in lookups for somnambulist on 4/13—not too late at night, however.


Things got dark for a moment when affluenza spiked following the news of Ethan Couch's sentence on 4/13, then picked back up again with another entertaining trend on 4/14, as a Reddit "Today I Learned" thread sent people to the dictionary to verify the definition of velleity. It's an incredibly useful word.

Then the Democratic debate on Thursday night ruined everything with a surge in lookups for equivocate and implacable, as well as socialism (as usual), fracking, unequivocal, fossil fuel, haughty, Deep South, gesticulation, and pander.

It was fun while it lasted.

What words do you think will trend next week?



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