Fun with Google Books Data Part 1

My contribution to the global knowledge base, thanks to Google’s Ngram Book Viewer, which has, as a source, 500 billion words from 5 million books published over the past several centuries…

The use of “donut” as an alternative spelling to “doughnut” evolved over the course of the 20th century:

The arrival of “dialysis” and “chemotherapy” in the 1960s and 70s:

When does “coffee” overtake “tea”? (around 1966)

When did “pizza” overtake “dumplings”? (around 1971)

Looks like “premarital sex” was pretty taboo prior to 1930:

As the 21st century approached, “hookers” finally became almost as popular as “mermaids”:

I’ll continue playing, but this list is long enough for now…


3 thoughts on “Fun with Google Books Data Part 1

  1. The “buddha” result is shocking given the scarcity of Buddhists in English-speaking areas. There must be a long book somewhere that just repeats “buddha” a few thousand times. I threw “christ” in the mix, and it was down around “jesus” and “allah”.

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