Tracing lexical trends in Google searches

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Google has released a fun data visualization tool that shows changes in search interest over time for a variety of trending words, particularly new slang terms. In “The Year in Language 2016,” you can see how frequently people searched for the definitions of words, in queries such as “selfie definition” or “define selfie.” By this metric, the top 10 words for 2016 are: triggered, shook, juju, broccoli, woke, holosexual, shill, gaslighting, bigly, and SJW. You can also plot the search interest for more than 50 words from 2013 to 2016.

And you can investigate regional U.S. trends for these words, too:

The geographical component is similar to another (more flexible) data visualization tool we recently looked at, Jack Grieve’s Word Mapper app, using Twitter corpus data.

By the way, if you’re wondering why broccoli is #4 on the 2016 trending list, this article might help: “E-40 Clears the Air About Who Really Used ‘Broccoli’ Slang First” (XXL, Dec. 15, 2016).



1 Comment

  1. Ginger Yellow said,

    January 31, 2017 @ 9:31 am

    What’s up with broccoli? Is there some new slang meaning?

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