Last night, the Democratic candidates for president had their first debate and Vocabulary.com used their list-making tool to figure out what the most relevant words used in the debate were. The tool determines relevancy by finding which words are used more frequently than one would expect when compared to the language as a whole. They also pulled out the most memorable vocabulary moments for each candidate. Click on the word to see the definition, or study a list of relevant words at Vocabulary.com. Here are the results.
1. CLINTON (MOST RELEVANT) // AMOK
Hillary Clinton used this relatively rare word for out-of-control, chaotic behavior to talk about the task of reining in "the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn't run amok."
2. CLINTON (MOST MEMORABLE) // REVERE
Clinton said "I revere my late mother" when talking about her family background.
3. SANDERS (MOST RELEVANT) // QUAGMIRE
Bernie Sanders used the word quagmire, for a mess that's hard to get out of, three times in less than 30 seconds when he called Iraq a quagmire and then Syria "a quagmire in a quagmire."
4. SANDERS (MOST MEMORABLE) // SOCIALISM
Prompted by a question from Anderson Cooper, Sanders gave his explanation of "what democratic socialism is about." At the same time, the online dictionary at Merriam Webster saw a huge spike in people looking up the definition of socialism.
5. O'MALLEY (MOST RELEVANT) // DENIGRATE
Near the end of the debate, Martin O'Malley remarked that "On this stage, you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants, you didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious belief."
6. O'MALLEY (MOST MEMORABLE) // BARKER
In talking about the DREAM Act, O'Malley referred to Donald Trump as "that carnival barker."
7. WEBB (MOST RELEVANT) // INEVITABILITY
Jim Webb talked about "the inevitability of something like Benghazi occurring in the way that we intervened in Libya."
8. WEBB (MOST MEMORABLE) // GRENADE
Moderator Anderson Cooper asked the candidates to name the enemies they are most proud to have made, and Webb named "the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me."
9. CHAFEE (MOST RELEVANT) // ECHELON
Lincoln Chafee talked about the money to be gained from higher taxes on the "top echelon." It was an oddly fancy-sounding word for a populist message.
10. CHAFEE (MOST MEMORABLE) // GRANITE
To emphasize how consistent he is in his positions on the issues, Chafee likened himself to a "block of granite."