Presidential Debate: Merriam-Webster Clarifies 'Rig,' 'Hombre,' 'Bigly' After Trump Comments
Also spiking throughout the night were searches for "crocodile tears" and "sexual assault."
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off for the final time on the debate stage Wednesday night, and Merriam-Webster followed along, reporting which words were being searched for because of comments made by both presidential candidates.
The dictionary company tweeted on Wednesday before the debate that the word "trumpery" was one of the top three words being searched for, and searches for new words spiked throughout the night connected to comments made by Trump and Clinton on stage.
Trump, on his idea to build a border wall, said, "We have some bad hombres here, and we're going to get them out." His words not only made #badhombres a trending hashtag, it also confused people online, leading Merriam-Webster to clarify "ombre" vs. "hombre," assuring people that they are "not the same thing."
hombre: a man— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 20, 2016
ombré: having colors or tones that shade into each other #debatenight
When Trump began using his signature phrase "bigly," the dictionary again tweeted that "bigly" is a real word. Lexicographer Kory Stamper, who writes and edits dictionary definitions for Merriam-Webster, told THR last month that "bigly" is a real word — even if it's not the word Trump meant to use. "What's fascinating is that everyone assumes it's not a word," she said, "but it is."
"In the way that Donald Trump is using it, he means a synonym of 'big-time' or 'completely.'"
"Rig" was also a hot topic of the night, as Trump claimed that the election might be rigged (and the Emmys might have been as well). Refusing to say that he will accept the results of the election ("I'll tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense"), Trump again said that the votes might be rigged. When Clinton said that he complained similarly when he didn't win an Emmy for The Apprentice, he doubled down: "Should've won."
When Clinton mentioned Trump's recently leaked Access Hollywood tapes in which he describes "sexual assault," the phrase also began to spike, as did "crocodile tears."
"He goes around with crocodile tears about how terrible it is," she said about Trump outsourcing jobs.
Other searches for the night included "sleazy," "entitlement," "debunk" and "regime."
During the first debate, online searches for the definition of "temperament" skyrocketed the dictionary said — viewers were looking up the word 78 times more than its hourly average, notably because of a comment made by Donald Trump during the telecast.
"I have much better judgment than she does. There's no question about that," he said. "I also have much better temperament than she does." He continued, "I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament. I have a winning temperament. I know how to win. She does not know how to win."
Clinton later fired back, saying that he has "bad judgment. That is not the right temperament to be commander-in-chief."