Searches for ‘What is a fortnight?’ surge after release of Taylor Swift’s song ‘Fortnight’

Taylor Swift appears to have caused a lot of confusion among her American fanbase with the title of her new song “Fortnight”, as a surge in “What is a fortnight?” searches have exploded following its release.

A collaboration with singer and rapper Post Malone, “Fortnight” is the lead single from Swift’s record-breaking 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department.

According to an analysis of Google search data done by QR Code Generator, internet inquiries about the definition of the word “fortnight” increased by 868 per cent in America on 19 April – the day the 34-year-old pop star released her album.

The word “fortnight” – which refers to a period of two weeks – is considered British-English terminology. It comes from Old English and is an abbreviated form of “fourteen nights”.

Given the word’s origin, fans have speculated that the song is either about the end of Swift’s six-year relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn or her brief romance with English singer Matty Healy of The 1975.

“And for a fortnight there, we were forever / Run into you sometimes, ask about the weather / Now you’re in my backyard, turned into good neighbors / Your wife waters flowers, I wanna kill her,” she sings in the chorus. “And for a fortnight there, we were together / Run into you sometimes, comment on my sweater / Now you’re at the mailbox, turned into good neighbors / My husband is cheating, I wanna kill him.”

Explaining the song’s lyrics on Amazon Music, Swift said that she “always imagined” that “Fortnight” was set in an “American town where the American Dream you thought would happen to you didn’t”.

“You ended up not with the person you loved and now you have to just live with that every day, wondering what would’ve been, maybe seeing them out,” she explained. “And that’s a pretty tragic concept, really. So I was just writing from that perspective.”

The Tortured Poets Department debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 2.61 million units, the highest for any album since Adele’s 25 in 2015.

Reacting to the record’s success, Swift posted a carousel of polaroids from the recording of the album on social media. “My mind is blown. I’m completely floored by the love you’ve shown this album,” she captioned the post.

“2.6 million ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS?? Thank you for listening, streaming, and welcoming Tortured Poets into your life. Feeling completely overwhelmed.”