Trending: emergency,’ ‘national emergency

Lookups spiked 1,900% on February 14, 2019

Why are people looking up the words emergency and national emergency?

Emergency, especially of the national variety, spiked in lookups on February 14th, 2019, following reports that President Trump soon intends to declare one of these.

President Trump will declare a national emergency to fund his demand to build a border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor Thursday.
— Alexander Bolton, The Hill (, 14 Feb. 2019

What do the words emergency and national emergency mean?

We offer two current definitions of emergency: “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action,” and “an urgent need for assistance or relief.” A national emergency is defined as “a state of emergency resulting from a danger or threat of danger to a nation from foreign or domestic sources and usually declared to be in existence by governmental authority.”

Where do the words emergency and national emergency come from?

Emergency has been in use for almost 400 years now, and in some early used functioned as a synonym of emergence. The two words share a root, the Latin ēmergĕre, meaning “to emerge.”


And if an occurrence or Case should happen, that out of the emergency of Reason, or out of necessitie of good Gouernement, it should bee held expedient to send a secret person to act some negotiations, which it were inconuenient that the Ecclesiastickes should know, yet notwithstanding, all must bee reuealed vnto him, or men must fall into censures, and bee made obnoxious vnto the Inquisition.
— Paolo Sarpi, The Free Schoole of Warre, 1625

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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