Trend Watch

Confusion After Trump's 'Bad Hombres' Comment Led to a Spike in Lookups for 'Ombre'

Trump said "we have some bad hombres here"


Hombreplay , the Spanish word for “man,” which in English is often used in a slightly more informal fashion to refer to a “guy” or “fellow,” spiked 120,000% over the hourly average after Donald Trump used the word in the final presidential debate.

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Lookups for 'hombre' spiked after Trump said "we have some bad hombres here." But so did lookups for 'ombré', "having colors or tones that shade into each other," and 'ombre', "an old three-handed card game."

One of my first acts will be to get all of the drug lords, we have some bad, bad people in this country this have to go out. We'll get them out, secure the border and once the border is secured at a later date we'll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here and we're going to get them out.
—Donald Trump, (transcript) Vox.com, 19 Oct. 2016

The phrase bad hombre has been in use in English since at least the 19th century.

Hoping to learn something of their religious belief, I have asked many questions, but the only information elicited was that there is a “Good Hombre” above, and a “Bad Hombre” down in the earth.
—Helen Carpenter, Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, Feb. 1893

On his return to the livery stable, Brawley remarked: “I’m a bad hombre.”
The Los Angeles Times, 22 Jun. 1896

We also saw a spike in lookups for the words ombre ("an old three-handed card game popular in Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries") and ombré ("having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark"): it seems that many people unfamiliar with the spelling of the Spanish word left off the initial H.

Trend Watch tracks popular lookups to see what people are talking about. You can always see all Trend Watch articles here.



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