This article explores the possibility that Google search behavior (as summarized in Google Trends output) may provide an informative lens through which researchers can view shifts in proverb search interest, and a way to see how those shifts relate to particular sociohistorical events. In the application presented here, analyses showed that just as internet searches for terms like “Wuhan,” “coronavirus,” “pandemic,” and “flatten the curve” surged in popularity in the United States in early 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, so, too, did searches for particular phrases (e.g., “keep calm and carry on,” “this too shall pass,” and “all in this together”) that seemed to provide useful proverbial framings for the events of this time. This analysis, then, offers an overview of the pandemic from a paremiological perspective and further illustrates the potential value of quantitative methods in folklore scholarship.

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