Post-election online word searches: ‘Bigot,’ ‘fascism’ and ‘xenophobe’
The words “fascism,” “bigot” and “xenophobe” were the most searched-for words in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary on Sunday, the publisher revealed on Twitter.
Those words were followed by “racism,” “socialism,” “resurgence,” “xenophobia” and “misogyny.” The searches, possibly related to Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump as president, seemed to fit a trend over the last week.
Trump has been accused of xenophobia, which Merriam-Webster defines as “fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners,” for his hard-line stance on immigration.
In a campaign speech in June 2015, Trump harshly criticized Mexican immigrants, saying, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In the past seven days, the most popular word searches on the Merriam-Webster website included many of the same words, as well as “feminism,” “nationalism” and “deplorable.”
The popularity of “deplorable” is likely related to a comment made by Hillary Clinton in September, in which she said that “half of Donald Trump’s supporters” could be placed in a “basket of deplorables.” (The word, an adjective, is seldom used as a noun.)
In a blog post last week, Merriam-Webster attributed the rise in searches for “misogyny” to an increase in usage of the word in news articles and on social media.
The blog post was accompanied by a picture of a box of Tic Tac mints. The picture was seemingly a reference to a conversation Trump had with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005, in which Trump mentioned using the breath mints before kissing women without waiting for their consent.
The trend of word searches possibly related to the election seems to be continuing. As of Monday, the most searched-for words over the last 24 hours included “fascism,” “xenophobe” and “bigot,” as well as “democracy,” “politics,” and “demagogue,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason.”
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