Homer was the top searched word on Cambridge Dictionary in 2022. “It was looked up more than 79,000 times this year, and an amazing 65,401 of those views happened on May 5,” reads a statement on their official blog. The reason: When homer was the answer for May 5’s contest on Wordle, a famous online word game, many Americans instanstly guessed the word. However, many Wordle players outside of the US couldn’t guess the word right and so they searched up the word online, including Cambridge Dictionary!
“The dictionary team felt that choosing homer as the Word of the Year 2022 represented not only the enjoyment that so many of our users have found in being playful with language, but also the challenges of learning English in an increasingly connected world,” reads a statement on their blog.
Other five-letter words that were Wordle answers and also searched many times in 2022 were humor (the American English spelling of humour), caulk, tacit, and bayou. This sudden increase in people looking up a word due to Wordle is often called the “Wordle Effect”.
It is interesting to note that the online word game was created by Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based engineer. He had created Wordle in October 2021 as a gift for Palak Shah, his girlfriend. Later it was acquired by The New York Times.