Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!TAKE THE QUIZ
Trending: ‘no quarter’
Lookups spiked 140,000% on June 1, 2020
Tom Cotton sent no quarter to the top of our lookups on June 1st, 2020, after the Arkansas senator said that this is what should be given to protestors and demonstrators.
"We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction," he wrote, calling protesters "Antifa terrorists." "And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry — whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.”
— Eliza Relman, Business Insider, 1 Jun. 2020
We define no quarter as “no pity or mercy —used to say that an enemy, opponent, etc., is treated in a very harsh way.” The quarter in question is one of many senses that have all sprung from the Latin word for “fourth,” quartus. This particular sense of quarter may be defined as “merciful consideration of an opponent” (and often specifically refers to “the clemency of not killing a defeated enemy”). It is likely that the clemency sense of quarter is directly related to the “living accommodations” sense; soldiers were given quarter (clemency) in circumstances in which they were allowed to return to their quarters (barracks, or living accommodations). No quarter has been in use since the beginning of the 17th century.
And therefore they signified vnto them of the Champian country that were of the aduerse partie, that if they did not aduise otherwise for there safeties after the 10. of Aprill next ensuing, that there would be no quarter for any person, place, Bourrough or village (as now many did reside there and were free, with any safegard of the sayd Estates) lying vnder the command of their enemies.
— Jean François Le Petit, A generall historie of the Netherlands, 1608
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.