The 10 Most-Searched Words of 2012

Merriam-Webster has released their annual list of words people looked up the most on their online dictionary.  And this year’s top 10 was clearly inspired by politics.  Here are the year’s 10 most looked-up words:

#1.)  A tie between Capitalism and Socialism.  Pretty appropriate in a divided election year, when both sides were flinging them around in debates over health care and the deficit.  Searches for both doubled over the last year.

#2.)  Democracy.

#3.)  Globalization.

#4.)  Marriage:  The definition of marriage was a key part of the debate over same-sex partnerships . . . so people were looking up the actual definition.

#5.)  Bigot:  This might have been related to the same-sex marriage debate too.

#6.)  Malarkey:  JOE BIDEN used it to describe PAUL RYAN’S statements during the vice-presidential debate, which led to a3,000% increase in search traffic over the next 24 hours.  It’s slang for “nonsense.”

#7.)  Meme:  It’s basically something random or topical that goes viral online or in pop culture . . . like people doing parodies of theCARLY RAE JEPSEN song “Call Me Maybe”.  Twice as many people looked it up as in 2011.

#8.)  Touché:  It means “you made a good point,” but an idiot contestant on “Survivor” named Kat Edorsson kept using it to mean “too bad” or “tough luck” . . . which sent people to the dictionary.

#9.)  Schadenfreude:  It’s a word that combines the German words for damage and joy . . . and it means reveling in the misery of others.  There was a lot of that going on after the election, and people looked it up to see what the TV talking heads meant.

#10.)  Professionalism:  Searches were up 12% over last year . . . possibly because people were preparing their resumes.

(USA Today)


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