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“Chuffed” Spiked in Merriam-Webster Online Searches Yesterday, Here’s Why and What it Means

Peter Sokolowski seemed pretty chuffed about it.

“Chuffed” didn’t make my list of 10 Pieces of British Slang I’d Like to See Adopted in America, but a lot of readers suggested it after the fact. That’s why when lexicographer Peter Sokolowski pointed out that it was spiking in searches on Merriam-Webster’s site it caught my attention. Why’d it spike, and what’s it mean?

M-W.com gives “very pleased: delighted” as the definition for “Chuffed,” and it also notes specifically that it’s an informal British term. Sokolowski was right in his tweet. It was used on Downton Abbey last night. It was also used in Anderson Cooper’s interview with Liam Neeson.

I’m a little surprised to see that we’ve yet to recommend Sokolowski’s Twitter feed in our #FollowFriday feature, because it’s great. He’s on our list and I’ll do a fully #FollowFriday write up on him soon, but the top reason to follow him is exactly for stuff like this. His most common tweets note what words are spiking in search traffic on M-W.com and give a probable reason for it. It is fascinating.

(via Peter Sokolowski)

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