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A Beginner’s Guide To Trump-ese

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A Beginner’s Guide To Trump-ese

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at Crown Arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

No one can deny that Donald Trump has a way with words—maybe not a way that is elegant or well informed, but one that is undoubtedly all his own.

The GOP candidate has leaned on a staggering number of buzzwords throughout his campaign, imbuing established terms with coded or even opposite meanings. In special cases, he’s even coined brand new phrases. It can be dizzying to wrap your head around this curious new dialect, so we at The National Memo compiled this handy dictionary of basic Trumpese to help you figure out what The Donald is really talking about:


America (noun) – a nation in the Western Hemisphere that used to be really great back before streetcars and universal suffrage were invented


Bald (adjective) – having little or no hair*

*(Editor’s note: This entry has been deemed unnecessary and deleted by official Trumpese linguists, who also request that you continue scrolling down and do not return to this particular definition.)


Bankruptcy (noun) – a clever financial tactic by which a very handsome businessman gathers up his failures and makes them someone else’s problem


Bigly 1. (adverb) – an indisputably real word meaning huge (alt: yuge) or to a large extent 2. (noun) – a more efficient way of saying “big league” that important businessmen use to save time


Birth certificate (noun) – an identifying document that all non-white Americans carry at all times, unless they happen to be secret terrorists


China 1. (noun) – a shifty-eyed country across the Pacific that sneaks into America at night and steals our jobs 2. (noun) a filler word, useful in speeches, when you do not have anything of substance to say


Crooked (adjective) – having all the proper experience and qualifications for an executive governmental position



Fire (verb) – to take away a loser’s job on national television because he or she, unlike you, is not the best


Hands 1. (noun) — a disgusting body part that you should never shake 2. (noun) an appendage at the end of the arm primarily used to measure one’s massive genitalia


Hero (noun) – an individual who makes it through a war without being killed or captured, oftentimes by never leaving the comfort of a penthouse apartment


Nuclear weapon (noun) – an apocalyptic device that the commander-in-chief can threaten to use whenever he wants in order to make the best deals


Politically incorrect (adjective) – a style of conscience-free language that uses Freedom of Speech to justify shouting racial slurs and mocking the disabled


Protest 1. (noun) — a stinky herd of jobless losers who deserve to get punched in the face 2. (verb) to express disapproval of the government in a way that will hopefully be illegal soon


Rigged (adjective) — describing circumstances that, for whatever reason, do not work out in your favor


Russia 1. (noun) the personal estate of all-around great guy Vladimir Putin 2. (noun) A really helpful IT service that specializes in digging up old emails


Sad! (adjective) – not being the best, because there can only be one best, and I have always been the best, meaning that you will never be the best, which is just plain sad


Sarcasm (noun) – an excuse for passing off a controversial statement as a joke even though you totally meant it


Second Amendment (noun) – the portion of the Constitution that upholds one’s unalienable right to encourage the murder of political rivals


Tax return (noun) – a detailed report of an individual’s income and expenses that you can ignore if you are rich and powerful enough


Truth-teller (noun) — a person who speaks authentically and from the heart by shouting out whatever malarkey* he wants to

*For more on malarkey, see The Comprehensive Guide to Bidenisms


Wall (noun) – a vertical barrier, costing the American public billions of dollars, along the U.S.-Mexico border designed to prevent the spread of melanin and hard workers



  1. charleo1 August 14, 2016

    Much in the way older retired folks might look at photo albums. One day we’ll look
    back at the Trump days and wonder, were we ever that naive, and stupid? How did we survive?

    1. The lucky one August 14, 2016

      You’re assuming we will survive.

      1. charleo1 August 14, 2016

        Scarier idiots than Trump have tried to sell the same lunacy.

        1. The lucky one August 14, 2016

          Yes but none got as far as he has but what scares me the most is the hatred he has sanctioned and fed. He may go away after he’s defeated but many cowardly racists and misogynists now feel empowered.

          1. Rebecca Surette August 14, 2016

            None have gotten as far as he has HERE in the USA. There have been others.

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  2. Jinmichigan August 14, 2016

    And this list grows every day.

  3. jmprint August 14, 2016

    What about the word twist, where the republicans twist everything!

  4. Jon August 14, 2016

    In the end there is no honest communication. We are not to use dictionaries or other reference books or rely upon common usage but rely solely upon the speaker to tell us what he or she REALLY meant to say. What a way to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (just as it was in 1850).

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