Trending: cave

Lookups spiked 1,500% on January 25, 2019

Why are people looking up cave?

Cave leapt to the top of our lookups on January 25th, 2019, following the word’s appearance in numerous headlines in reports of the end of the government shutdown.

Donald Trump caved. And now the government is going to re-open.
— (headline) CNN (, 25 Jan. 2019

Trump on the shutdown: “We will not cave!” Trump one day later: I’m caving.
— (headline) Vox (, 25 Jan. 2019

Dems say Trump caved on wall, shutdown was 'all for nothing’
— (headline) NBC News (, 25 Jan. 2019

What does cave mean?

Cave is defined as “a natural chamber or series of chambers in the earth or in the side of a hill.” But that's of course just the noun version. The one seemingly being used by every headline writer on the Internet right now is the verb sense defined as “to cease to resist; to submit.”

Where does cave come from?

Cave has been used since the early 19th century in the “submit” sense, and there is evidence of its application in political matters shortly thereafter.


The genuine Douglas Democracy will not support it, but we see that a few shilly wally politicians are caving in.
The Shippenberg News (Shippenberg, PA), 7 May 1859

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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