Your City in a Word

your city in a word

We’ve always wondered: do different cities tend to look up different words in the dictionary? Luckily, we can look at the data to see what’s trending in different metropolitan areas! Our analytics team took our search data from February to March of this year and analyzed the national averages against top looked up words in specific cities. The results revealed underlying moods or themes across the US.

Here are a few of our highlights:

—San Francisco, perhaps most famous for its iconic bridges, could well be experiencing a bit of bridge envy as “Verrazano Narrows Bridge” (which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island) came out on top.

—In D.C., users can’t shake the specter of government, as “gun control” and “whig” topped the list.

—New York City may have some serious health concerns with “precipitin test” coming in at number one.

—St. Louis seems focused on situations that perhaps don’t meet expectations with “what-if” and “foobar” coming out on top.

Below is a list some of the top words looked up in select U.S. cities, followed by the number of times more than the national average they were looked up:

  • Jacksonville – geewhiz (246x)
  • Milwaukee – elementary (142x)
  • Las Vegas – roasting ears (133.4x)
  • Memphis – subordinate conjunction (169x)
  • Indianapolis – isthmus (93.4x)
  • Denver – ice-fog (91.4x) and marmots (65.7x)
  • Detroit – half-back (75.8x)
  • San Diego – iodophor (74.7x)
  • Boston – fender-bender (51.9x)
  • Dallas – peep (45.9x)
  • St. Louis – what-if (45.6x) and foobar (38.1x)
  • Phoenix – public utility (40.6x)
  • Seattle – dominos (38.1x)
  • Chicago – peatier (33.4x)
  • Philadelphia – subnormal (30x)
  • San Francisco – Verrazano Narrows Bridge (29x)
  • Washington D.C. – gun control (29.4) and whig (26.1x)
  • Minneapolis – fricassee (19.7x)
  • Los Angeles – walking stick (15x)
  • New York City – precipitin test (12.8x)

What do you think of these spiking searches?

Your City in a Word

Zoom in or download the infographic here.


  1. Denise -  August 1, 2015 - 2:04 pm

    Boston should be, “fendah bendah.”

  2. Deborra Ann Low -  April 9, 2015 - 11:38 am

    I’m guessing Seattleites were looking for Dominoes Pizza. I can’t imagine they don’t know what a domino is.

  3. Motorcycles -  March 14, 2015 - 7:11 am

    Search for Piscataway NJ

  4. Izzy -  March 14, 2015 - 7:09 am


  5. Anneliese -  October 28, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    ooohhhh, what about ATLANTA, GEORGIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. jay -  October 17, 2014 - 8:36 am

    Oh, oh, do Boise!!!

  7. sophie marlow -  September 25, 2014 - 9:00 am

    What about somewhere in North Carolina?

  8. Autumn -  May 6, 2014 - 10:20 am

    What about somewhere in iowa?

  9. bartholomew -  May 6, 2014 - 8:39 am

    what about Dallastown, PA?

  10. Eleanore -  May 5, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    Geewhiz, that sure is interesting!

  11. mkmilan -  May 5, 2014 - 5:29 pm

    Baerly interesting without context

  12. Shailesh -  May 5, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    I wonder what might be the top searched word for Mobile, AL?

  13. Astra Thomas -  May 5, 2014 - 2:47 pm

    In Philadelphia, the high lookup rate of “subnormal” is because the school systems are being reclassified. “Recommendations concerning subnormal pupils”. So parents are probably wondering what that means.

    In San Diego, there is a high instance of home beer-brew communities, so looking up the sanitizing solution “iodophor” makes sense.

    I’ve lived in both cities.

    • Naomi G -  October 29, 2016 - 12:57 pm

      That was really helpful, thank you


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