The phrase "clapped back" seems to be on the rise in the media today, but when did it first gain traction and where?
Language is far from static – it is a fluid medium that is constantly evolving. Today, through the power of GDELT Summary, we can actually explore that evolution and trace the introduction of new terms into our collective societal lexicon.
The timeline below shows the percentage of airtime on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News mentioning "("clap back" OR "clapped back" OR "claps back" OR "clapping back")" by month from July 2009 through present. The phrase seems to have first emerged on television news in January 2016 and really took off in 2018.
Glancing at the timeline above, the terms appear to be far more popular on MSNBC. The station breakdown below shows just how significant this difference is, with both CNN and Fox News using the phrases equal amounts and MSNBC using them 1.66 times more than the other two combined.
Turning globally to worldwide online news, the term can be seen to steadily increase in usage month over month, though its progression has been slow and measured.