Trending: cavalier

Lookups spiked 6,200% on April 8, 2019

Why are people looking up cavalier?

Following the overtime national championship victory by the University of Virginia men's basketball team, the team's name, Cavaliers, surged to the top of the dictionary lookup list.

What does cavalier mean?

Cavalier is both a noun and an adjective in English. The noun is older, dating to the late 1500s, and originally meant "a soldier who fights on horseback" and came to mean "a gallant courtly soldier" and then "a lady's escort or dancing partner."

As a proper noun, Cavalier has referred to the supporters of King Charles I of England in the 1640s and 1650s and subsequently to Virginians of the plantation-owning class.

As an adjective, cavalier means "having or showing no concern for something that is important or serious."

Where does cavalier come from?

Cavalier came to English directly from French, and it descends ultimately from the Latin word for "horseman," derived from the Latin word for "horse," caballus.

Other words like cavalry and chivalry share the same ultimate Latin root.

What is notable about this use of cavalier?

The Virginia colony of the mid-1600s was governed by English Cavaliers, who were loyal to King Charles I (in contrast with the Massachusetts colony of the same period, governed by Puritans) during the English Civil War. The name continued to be associated with Virginians, and was sometimes applied to Confederate soldiers during and after the American Civil War.

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

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