Lookups spiked 450% on October 18, 2019.
A Boeing pilot complained about the automated handling control system in the 737 MAX planes in 2016. Fatal crashes of the plane in October 2018 and March 2019 killed 346 people.
A headline in The New York Times reads:
Boeing Pilot Complained of ‘Egregious’ Issue With 737 Max in 2016
The word egregious was used in instant messages sent by the pilot, which indicate that Boeing may have misled the Federal Aviation Administration about the safety of the automated system.
Egregious comes from the Latin word egregius, formed from combining e-, a form of the Latin ex- meaning "away," with greg-, grex, meaning "herd."
It literally means "apart from the herd," and in Latin meant "distinguished" or "eminent." This is also how it was originally used in English, but a negative connotation is strongly associated with egregious in current usage.
The roots of egregious are shared with gregarious, which comes from the Latin term meaning "with a herd," and in English means "social" or "sociable."
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.