Every presidential election has its buzzwords.
In 2008, “hope” rang throughout Obama’s winning campaign. In 2000, “SNL” satirized the standoff between Al Gore and George W. Bush by coining the word “strategery” and poking fun at the concept of a “lock box.”
In advance of tonight’s presidential debate, Merriam-Webster Dictionary has announced that it will be tracking which words are used, and which words see a spike in searches on its site.
Already, the online dictionary has wrangled up the words that have surged in use since the election cycle began. Among the popular 2016 election words are:
- Equivocate: to use unclear language especially to deceive or mislead someone
- Implacable: opposed to someone or something in a very angry or determined way that cannot be changed
- Trumpery: Worthless nonsense
Wait, what was that? The relatively uncommon word saw a big spike in usage this March, when a few social media accounts’ quips likening the word to Donald Trump went viral. According to Merriam-Webster:
Trumpery has been in use in English since the late 15th century, and has been used, at one time or another, to refer to weeds, people (especially women of doubtful character), religious matters (especially those that are superstitious in nature), and generally worthless things in a broad sense.