Trend Watch

Temblor

When:

Lookups spiked on August 23, 2011.

Why:

After a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the East Coast of the U.S., many news accounts used temblor as a synonym for earthquake.

It's an unfamiliar word, more often used in journalistic writing than in everyday English.

Because of the similarity to tremor, the missing "r" is sometimes mistaken for a typo – and the word does indeed come from the Spanish for "trembling."

Photo: Bethany King / flickr

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