One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
With the. (A name for) Poseidon or Neptune, the god of earthquakes.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Abraham Fleming (c1552–1607), author, literary editor, and Church of England clergyman. From earth + shaker, after various Latin and Greek epithets of Neptune (Poseidon), e.g. classical Latin Ennosigaeus and its etymon ancient Greek ἐννοσίγαιος, and also ancient Greek ἐνοσίχθων.
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