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The most frequently used words in Donald Trump’s inauguration speech—and every previous one

Keith Collins
Here we are.

After a bitter contest and controversial win, Donald J. Trump is now officially president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Trump continued the message of populism he maintained throughout his campaign. “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C.,” he said, “and giving it back to you, the people.” Trump also said he would invest in improving the country’s infrastructure, lamented the shuttering of factories, and referred to crime as “American carnage.”



But the word Trump used most in his speech wasn’t “people,” “power,” or even “great.” It was “dreams.” At one point, Trump said he would “bring back our dreams.” Later, when talking about the victims of the aforementioned carnage, he said “their dreams are our dreams.”

We counted the words used in Trump’s speech, as well as the words in every inaugural address ever delivered, to find which were used the most. (This list filters out common articles like “the,” “and,” and “or,” as well as some terms that are inherently ubiquitous in inaugural speeches, like “government” and “America.”) The result gives us a sense of what each president, going back to 1789, focused on at the start of his term.



Donald J. Trump

January 20, 2017 | 1459 words

dreams american obama jobs everyone

Barack Obama

January 21, 2013 | 2096 words

journey creed she complete requires

January 20, 2009 | 2395 words

nation new today generation jobs

George W. Bush

January 20, 2005 | 2071 words

freedom liberty tyranny fire history

January 20, 2001 | 1592 words

story civility affirm ideals promise

William J. Clinton

January 20, 1997 | 2155 words

century new promise land nation

January 20, 1993 | 1598 words

world today change idea season

George Bush

January 20, 1989 | 2320 words

breeze friends new door word

Ronald Reagan

January 21, 1985 | 2561 words

nuclear freedom weapons people world

January 20, 1981 | 2427 words

heroes believe dreams freedom weapon

Jimmy Carter

January 20, 1977 | 1229 words

dream together strength nation new

Richard Nixon

January 20, 1973 | 1803 words

peace role policies responsibility world

January 20, 1969 | 2128 words

voices earth peace together celebrate

Lyndon B. Johnson

January 20, 1965 | 1507 words

change covenant man union mastery

John F. Kennedy

January 20, 1961 | 1366 words

sides pledge begin ask help

Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 21, 1957 | 1658 words

freedom seek nations world help

January 20, 1953 | 2459 words

free faith strength peoples freedom

Harry S. Truman

January 20, 1949 | 2273 words

nations world communism peoples program

Franklin D. Roosevelt

January 20, 1945 | 559 words

learned today test trend peace

January 20, 1941 | 1359 words

democracy speaks nation spirit freedom

January 20, 1937 | 1808 words

democracy millions economic road people

March 4, 1933 | 1880 words

helped leadership values stricken neighbor

Herbert Hoover

March 4, 1929 | 3672 words

enforcement progress ideals 18th upon

Calvin Coolidge

March 4, 1925 | 4055 words

country stands old great tax

Warren G. Harding

March 4, 1921 | 3329 words

world civilization understanding today relationship

Woodrow Wilson

March 4, 1917 | 1526 words

own wished upon counsel purpose

March 4, 1913 | 1704 words

women great familiar studied stirred

William Howard Taft

March 4, 1909 | 5434 words

business interstate tariff negro race

Theodore Roosevelt

March 4, 1905 | 984 words

problems tasks regards ourselves life

William McKinley

March 4, 1901 | 2218 words

islands cuba upon congress inhabitants

March 4, 1897 | 3968 words

upon congress people revenue loans

Grover Cleveland – II

March 4, 1893 | 2015 words

people american frugality people_s governmental

Benjamin Harrison

March 4, 1889 | 4392 words

people upon methods states laws

Grover Cleveland – I

March 4, 1885 | 1686 words

people partisan yours public extravagance

James Garfield

March 4, 1881 | 2979 words

people constitution states upon law

Rutherford B. Hayes

March 5, 1877 | 2486 words

country upon reform behalf party

Ulysses S. Grant

March 4, 1873 | 1339 words

proposition santo transit domingo country

March 4, 1869 | 1127 words

dollar paying deal specie country

Abraham Lincoln

March 4, 1865 | 700 words

war god offenses woe offense

March 4, 1861 | 3637 words

constitution union law states people

James Buchanan

March 4, 1857 | 2831 words

states question shall constitution congress

Franklin Pierce

March 4, 1853 | 3336 words

upon hardly power fathers shall

Zachary Taylor

March 5, 1849 | 1090 words

shall congress country own duties

James K. Polk

March 4, 1845 | 4809 words

states union texas upon millions

William Henry Harrison

March 4, 1841 | 8460 words

power upon constitution people however

Martin van Buren

March 4, 1837 | 3843 words

institutions people upon yet supposed

Andrew Jackson

March 4, 1833 | 1176 words

union people states rest exercise

March 4, 1829 | 1128 words

public generally shall federal power

John Quincy Adams

March 4, 1825 | 2915 words

union upon peace great performance

James Monroe

March 4, 1821 | 4472 words

great states made war united

March 4, 1817 | 3375 words

great states put dangers people

James Madison

March 4, 1813 | 1211 words

war british part spirit united

March 4, 1809 | 1177 words

nations public improvements peace states

Thomas Jefferson

March 4, 1805 | 2166 words

public state false limits citizens

March 4, 1801 | 1730 words

man others safety principle freedom

John Adams

March 4, 1797 | 2321 words

people foreign nations nation states

George Washington

March 4, 1793 | 135 words

oath shall execution witnesses upon

April 30, 1789 | 1431 words

public citizens present country united

Notes on methodology: The words displayed are those with the most frequent occurrences; the leftmost word is the one used the most. In shorter speeches, the most-used words may have only been mentioned a handful of times. Only single words were counted, not phrases. Each of the following words was filtered out: I’ve, doesn’t, really, didn’t, not, will, going, know, its, so, don’t, I’m, that’s, when, just, no, say, back, right, go, you’re, why, let, tell, look, they’re, every, things, done, thing, he’s, can’t, down, again, not, think, so, know, going, when, will, it’s, thats, don’t, no, go, say, lot, look, back, let, every, time, yes, we’ve, government, America, Americans, us, until, cannot, may, America’s, seen, one, Mr, we’re.

 

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