Out of Touch? Gaslighting and Narcissism are the Most Searched Terms in the U.S.

With 14.8 new words added to the English language daily, keeping up with their meanings is impossible. Social media fast-tracks new terms into mainstream conversations, with Google on standby, ready to crank out definitions for searchers trying to keep up with the times.

Which new phrases recently rose to the top? Using Google search data, Freelance Writing Jobs found that “gaslighting,” “narcissist,” and “pushing p” take the lead as the three most searched-for terms in the U.S.

A spokesperson for the research team says: “There are many reasons why we use slang. Often, it enriches our language and helps us feel closer to people. While these terms may have different meanings and connotations, they all speak to different aspects of modern life and the issues we are currently facing.”

You’re not alone if you can’t keep up with the influx of new words each day. Freelance Writing Jobs’ spokesperson says, “The most-searched word definitions in the U.S. suggest that people are looking to better navigate complex issues such as controlling and self-obsessed behavior, varied political perspectives, and new digital technologies.”

Most Searched Terms by State

Here are the top three most Googled word definitions for 2022, along with their meanings and examples of how they’re used.

#1 Gaslighting

Gaslighting tops the chart as the most Googled term in 35 states, with more than 600,000 searches per month by people trying to understand how to properly use it. Merriam-Webster took note of the 1,740 percent increase in searches for the term on its site and made it their 2022 Word of the Year.

According to the dictionary, gaslighting means to “manipulate (someone) using psychological methods into questioning their sanity or powers of reasoning.” Wikipedia adds that Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse meant to cause the victim to doubt their own memory.

Freelance Writing Jobs adds, “It’s a serious issue and can affect a person’s mental health. It is commonly associated with abusers in romantic relationships or friendships but can also refer to professionals, corporations, or governments’ manipulation of the public.

”Lisa Lightner, Special Education Advocate at A Day in Our Shoes, focuses on helping parents navigate IEP meetings at their child’s school and says gaslighting is not uncommon in these settings. “It’s maddening. It makes you question your sanity, knowledge, and confidence. It can happen to even the most seasoned advocate.”

California, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Nevada are among the states searching the most for the definition of gaslighting.

#2 Narcissist

Six states searched for the definition of “narcissist” more than any other term. Merriam-Webster defines a narcissist as “an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance.”

Narcissism is tied to narcissistic personality disorder, a mental health condition that involves self-centeredness, arrogant thinking, and a lack of empathy or care for others. The states that googled this definition most are Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

“A narcissist is an individual who displays an exaggerated sense of self-worth,” says Nicole Graham at Womenio. “This person seeks constant attention and admiration and may lack empathy towards others while frequently exploiting them for their own benefit. Typically, this personality trait is characterized by grandiosity, a strong desire for control, and an inability to handle criticism or rejection.”

Eric at CashBlog.com offers this example of how to use narcissist in a sentence. “My friend started a blog that pretends to be about personal finance, but actually, it’s just the yammering of a narcissist with the word “money” thrown in.”

According to Google Ngram data, the frequency of the word ‘narcissist’ increased rapidly in books from 1992, after IBM announced the first smartphone.

#3 Pushing P

Pushing P is a new term on the scene, originating from Atlanta rapper Gunna when he released his latest album, “DS4EVER,” in January 2022. The slang phrase generally means being a stand-up guy of good character. Pushing P can mean ‘keeping it real,’ or it can simply mean good, whereas if something is “Not P,” it is bad.

Caitriona Maria at TPR Teaching explains, “Living the Pushing P lifestyle means staying true to one’s unique identity and ambitions while proudly displaying accomplishments. It encourages people to show integrity, loyalty, ambition, and confidence in everything they do. It essentially means ‘keeping it player’ or ‘keeping it real.’”

The slang term Pushing P is the most popular searched word in three states; Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana. TikTok was especially influential in, well, pushing the term to the top, along with an Internet meme that went viral.

Other Words Topping the Charts

Three other terms round out the charts. “POV,” (point of view) was the most searched term in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. “NFT,” (Non-Fungible Token) was most popular in Washington and Colorado, while “SMH” (shaking my head) topped the chart in Alaska. New Hampshire searched the term “Woke” more than any other term.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Karee Blunt is the founder of OurWovenJourney.com, a travel blog focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.