Trending: quid pro quo

Lookups spiked 5,500% on September 25, 2019

Why are people looking up quid pro quo?

Quid pro quo was among our top lookups on September 25th, 2019, amidst continued speculation as to whether President Trump had quidded for some quo in a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that the transcript of President Trump's call with Ukraine's leader doesn't need to show a "quid pro quo" in withholding military aid in order for the president's actions to be considered wrong.
— Cristina Marcos, The Hill (, 24 Sept. 2019

What does quid pro quo mean?

We define quid pro quo as “something given or received for something else,” and “a deal arranging a quid pro quo.” The phrase comes from New Latin, in which it means “something for something.”

Where does quid pro quo come from?

The current meanings of the term date to the late 16th century. In its initial use, a now-obsolete sense from the beginning of that century, quid pro quo was used to refer to something obtained from an apothecary when one medicine was substituted for another. Such substitutions were sometimes accidental, but they could also be fraudulent. Soon after its apothecary meaning came into use, quid pro quo took on a general meaning of “substitution.” In current use the phrase is most often encountered in legal contexts.


Vpon this promyse an accion lyeth if he mary his doughter and in this case he cane nat discharge the promyse thoughe he thought nat to be bounde therby for it is a good contracte and he maye haue Quid pro quo that is to saye the prefermente of his doughter for his money.
— Christopher Saint German, The fyrst dialogue in Englisshe with newe additions, 1532

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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