‘Fascism’ and ‘Xenophobia’ Among Top Lookups Online, Merriam-Webster Tweets

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By Masha Froliak | 8:57 pm, November 14, 2016
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Americans are turning to Merriam-Webster to help them better understand complaints about Donald Trump, the online dictionary suggested on Monday.

Merriam-Webster’s social media account Tweeted out a list of their “top lookups” in the wake of the election—and they all seemed to coincide with liberal concerns over the President-elect, from “fascism” to “xenophobia” to racism” to “bigot.”

The word misogyny (hatred of women) was one of the top searched words on November 9, the day after the election. According to the blog post on Merriam-Webster’s website, searches on “misogyny” spiked even higher the next day, when it appeared repeatedly on social media and in the headlines of publications like The Guardian, Salon, the Telegraph, and the Boston Globe.

Webster also sarcastically pointed out that their Trend Watch hasn’t noticed any new lookups this entire week, as the same words—“fascism,” “bigot,” “xenophobe,” “racism,” “socialism,” “resurgence,” “xenophobia,” and “misogyny”—keep popping up among the top searches.


Some followers of the dictionary’s Twitter account pointed out that, given the coincidence between Trump’s victory and the top searches, that dictionary users might have wanted to look those terms up before they cast their ballots.

Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account is known for its tongue-in-cheek tweeting—and its occasional, full-on trolling (it once even declared that hot dogs were “sandwiches” just to see what would happen). But in this case, Merriam-Webster seems to be telling the truth about its trending words. Americans are looking up the same vocabulary on Google.

Another online dictionary, Wordsmith, did subtly troll the Republican President-elect, it seems, on Monday, Tweeting out a suspiciously salty “word of the day.”