“Trump-ese”: New Terminology of the Trump Era

Attention: word hounds, logophiles and grammaristas. If you want to keep up with the cool kids, you  need to be totes aware of some of the most current, hip terms that are being used by pundits.

These include: “to Huckabize,” “Mooch out,” “‘Stormy’ weather,” “MAGAfy” and our old favorite, “covfefe” (that we didn’t make up).

  • “Huckabize” (v): To lamely attempt to explain someone’s outrageously untruthful or misleading remark, usually accomplished with a totally dour, self-satisfied expression.

Example 1: Trump on the Parkland, Fla. shooting: “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon” (Feb 26, 2018).

Huckabized: “Trump’s remarks signaled a desire to ‘play a role’ in protecting students at the school…“He was just stating that as a leader he would have stepped in and hopefully been able to help,” Sanders said.

Example 2: Artfully dodging Trump’s inappropriate characterization of Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” in a Nov. 27, 2017 speech:*

Huckabized: “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career,” Sanders said.

Example 3:  Trump targeted Democratic lawmakers who didn’t applaud during his State of the Union speech, calling their reaction “un-American.” “Can we call that treason? Why not?”

Huckabized: Trump was being “tongue-in-cheek,” Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “clearly joking.”

  • “Mooch out” (v): a parting expression used when one needs to leave a party or event early, like saying “peace out.” (named after Anthony Scaramucci, smooth-talking former hedge fund executive who lasted 10 days as White House Communications Director in July 2017).

Usage:Sorry but I have to mooch out in order to meet my mistress…er…wife…at the airport.” Or “He was here earlier but mooched out about 11pm.”

  • “Stormy” weather (n): catch phrase used to warn about a dire consequence of taking some action, such as a lawsuit or media storm of bad publicity. The term ‘Stormy’ is typically set in quotes in print to indicate the wry or droll use of the term; in spoken contexts, air quotes or dramatic eye-rolls are used. (Named after porn star “Stormy” Daniels in connection with the fallout of alleged relations with Donald Trump).

Usage: “Get ready for some ‘Stormy’ weather if you go ahead with that.” Or, “There’ll be ‘Stormy’ weather for sure if the Board proceeds with that half-baked plan.” Or “You can try that method but watch out for ‘Stormy’ weather if the stockholders get wind of what’s going on.”

  • MAGAfy (v): to over-promise something beyond any reasonable hope of accomplishment, especially in vague, un-documentable terms while suggesting that this is how to make America great again.

Example: referring to poverty, rusted out factories, “young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge,” and “crime and gangs and drugs,” Trump said in his Jan. 20, 2017 inaugural address: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

Usage: “Trump totally MAGAfied what he was going to do about crime…like he thought he could simply declare a moratorium on poverty, gangs and drugs and it would  somehow take effect immediately upon being sworn in.”

  • “covfefe” (n,v): a multi-purpose term, like ‘widget’ that can be used under any circumstance to mean anything.

Usage: Despite the constant negative press covfefe”, Donald Trump posted on Twitter at midnight (12:06 a.m.) May 31, 2017. But nobody really knows what it means. Some think he meant “coverage”; others think “coffee.” Still others point out if you type “covfefe” into Google Translate and specify that it’s Russian, it translates as “Soviet.” (Sometimes spelled cofveve.)

However, my theory is that he actually meant kayfabe — a professional wrestling world “code” term meaning: “the portrayal of staged events within the industry as real or true.” Thus, “a wrestler breaking kayfabe during a show would be likened to an actor breaking character on-camera.” Recall that in July 2017 Trump re-tweeted his July 2011 appearance on “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23. “Kayfabe covers both the fact that matches are scripted and that wrestlers portray characters for their shows. Unlike actors who only portray their characters when on set or on stage professional wrestlers often stay ‘in character’ outside the shows.”**

 

 

 

 

Some non-wrasslin’ world examples in current use:

Example 1, from a recipe instruction: “At this point, the cof’veve should be sprinkled lightly on top, either using fingers or a small ornate spoon…However, a little cof’veve goes a long way so do not be tempted to overdo this fascinating ingredient.” (see pic at right)

Example 2: That’s strictly covfeve; the rest of the team really doesn’t care.

Example 3: “Listen, don’t bring up all that covfeve stuff during the trial.”

 

 


* as well as during the 2016 campaign.
** thanks go out to The World in Words (“The Secretive Language of Professional Wrestling”) March 9, 2018. for alerting me to this peculiar term.
Note that “Huckabize” overrides the short-lived earlier expressions “to Kellyanne” which was just gaining traction when Kellyanne Conway short-circuited the media with “alternative facts.”
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