Every year, new words and phrases seep into our vocab. Though they sound weird at first, they soon become second nature. And many even make it into the Oxford English Dictionary. Strange new words from authors, and quirky acronyms from singers, come into existence. And politicians and scientists bring pre-existing words back into circulation – until many become part of our day-to-day conversations. And 2020 was no different. Many slang words come to the front in 2020, some that made sense, and others, well.
So, we were wondering which words had the most people searching for their definitions in 2020. What had captured our attention in the US and had us talking the most? To find out, we consulted Google Trends.
Here are some of the most searched definitions of slang words in 2020 across the states. Does any come as a surprise to you?
The acronym WAP was searched in the United States up to 1 million times per month. It reached its peak popularity in August 2020. No surprise there! This was the month that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released ‘WAP’. A song that spent 5 weeks at the top of the charts.
It’s no wonder then, that so many people confusingly searched “What does WAP mean?” to keep up with the hype. The highest levels of interest in the states lay with West Virginia, followed by Dakota and then Vermont. Out of all the words in 2020 that reigned over us, this one definitely had our heads spinning.
We should all know the meaning by now, but if not, feel free to read the lyrics for yourself; there’s something in there about a bucket and a mop, and macaroni in a pot!
“I got into an entanglement with August.”
Famously putting a spin on the word “affair”, Jada Pinkett Smith brought the word “entanglement” into light in July 2020. This word in 2020, was reigning at 1 million searches every month. It seems the whole of the United States (and the world) was just as confused as Will Smith. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia proved to be the most interested in wtf Jada was talking about.
Jada opened up to her husband, Will, about how she got involved with August Alsina on her own show Red Table Talk.
August, a family friend, had apparently approached Jada for some help with issues including a drug addiction. She told Will: “I got into an entanglement with August. I was in a lot of pain, and I was very broken. In the process of that relationship, I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself.”
There’s no 2020 blog without at least one mention of the pandemic. And last year had us all uttering the word every day – pretty crazy since most of us wouldn’t have even considered the word “pandemic” unless we were talking about historic outbreaks like the 1918 influenza pandemic. Now, the term has infected our modern-day vocab. It’s even brought new fashion trends with it.
The states first began searching the word online in mid-January, with popularity taking a dramatic peak in March, before dropping slightly and staying steady throughout the year. It seems we never lost interest in the pandemic – and how could we, when it affected so much of our lives (and still does)? The states that searched for “pandemic” the most were Massacheusettes, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Here’s hoping this pandemic starts making itself history this year.
The nice guy that finishes last. Sorry.
In our bid to keep up with those Tik-Tokking Gen Zs, we all began wondering what a “simp” was in December 2019. However, searches for the term shot up in March 2020 and still to this day, the search “what does simp mean” garners a heap of interest in the United States. Mostly, this obsession with simps resides in Alaska, Hawaii and Utah.
Still confused? Maybe wondering if you yourself would be regarded as a simp?
Put simply, a “simp” is the Gen Z version of the infamous Nice Guy. Urban Dictionary puts it quite simply: “Someone who does way too much for a person they like.” And, usually, this attraction isn’t reciprocated, and the so-called “simp” doesn’t get the person they want – despite their efforts.
A more inclusive acronym.
“BIPOC” went from virtually zero interest to a surge in internet searches in June 2020 -shortly after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. BIPOC stands for “black, Indigenous, and people of color” and the acronym was coined for a more inclusive and respectful way to refer to black Americans.
In the long-overdue conversations around Black Lives Matter, BIPOC became a talking point – mostly in Vermont, Oregon and the District of Columbia.
However, reaction to the term wasn’t always favorable. Sylvia Obell, host of Netflix podcast ‘Okay, Now Listen’, said “It is lazy to lump us all together as if we all face the same problems. When you blend us all together like this, it’s erasure. It allows people to get away with not knowing people of color and our separate set of issues that we all face.”
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