It’s one of the most searched-for words on Google in Australia and, by all accounts, witnessing the action may leave you a little googly-eyed.
Twerking – a dance move that involves a person shaking their hips and bottom in a sexually provocative manner – came in at number seven on a list of the top 10 searches in Australia that begin with the words “how to”.
“There must be a twerking craze hitting the dance floors of Australia,” said Google spokesman Shane Treeves, who admitted he was unfamiliar with the word before he saw the Google list.
“There are tutorials on YouTube that people have been looking for.”
The word twerk is thought to have been formed by blending the words twist and jerk, or possibly by reworking the word “footwork”, and is more commonly used in the US, where actress Demi Moore made the gossip pages last week for apparently twerking at a party.
Mr Treeves said this year was the first time twerk had rated a mention in Google Australia’s top yearly searches.
Leading Google’s search terms in the “how to” category was love, followed by kegel – another term that may have left office workers wondering whether they would breach their company’s IT policy by entering it into a search engine.
For the record, it is a pelvic floor exercise that involves repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor.
Australians also wanted to find out how to rock, breastfeed, change, squat, hypnotise and bulk.
“‘How to’ searches are always very interesting and they show quirky, unusual things,” Mr Treeves said.
“The list does change quite a bit from year to year. We look at the trending searches and we see those shooting star queries that really represent what’s on the minds of Australians.”
According to Google’s “Zeitgeist”, a list of search terms that have seen the largest increase in the past year , PSY’s K-pop hit Gangnam Style was top search in Australia in 2012. It racked up nearly 1 billion views on YouTube. The entertainment-dominated top three searched items were rounded out by Channel Nine’s The Voice and boy band One Direction.
Lara Bingle edged out Miranda Kerr as the most-searched Australian celebrity, while Kate Middleton was pipped at the post by the late Whitney Houston in the people stakes.
December 14, 2012 – 2:31PM, Megan Levy