Trend Watch


News of a major earthquake in Ecuador sent people to the dictionary

News of Ecuador’s biggest earthquake in decades sent many people to the dictionary to look up temblor, a synonym of earthquake. The familiar word earthquake had no similar spike, but temblor is more frequently used in journalistic writing than in everyday English.

Because of the similarity to tremor and trembler, temblor is sometimes mistaken for a typo, which is perhaps why it is looked up in such volume whenever a large earthquake makes the news. The word comes from the Spanish word for "trembling."

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