Nine months ago, Donald Trump brought forth on this continent a new model for attaining the U.S. presidency, one that focused on statements so outrageous, and thereby so delicious for journalists, that he would be sure to make the top headlines day after day. And incidentally to capture the favorable attention of voters.
With his remarks, the Donald has managed to create an alternate universe, where Mexicans build a wall to keep themselves from crossing the border into the United States, where Nabisco will have to make its Oreos back in the U.S.A., where 11 million illegal immigrants will be deported.
His simple, direct language is captivating. Linguists as well as journalists have ventured into this Trumpiverse and brought back detailed accounts. In December, for example, New York magazine published “A Major, Super-Classy List of Donald Trump’s Favorite Words.”
In addition to words uttered by him, the Trumpiverse has also given birth to numerous words about him. The lexicographer David Barnhart, editor and publisher of the quarterly Barnhart Dictionary Companion, has been assiduously collecting these and providing them with the full apparatus of formal definitions worthy of the Oxford English Dictionary.
So far Barnhart has collected, defined, and illustrated some two dozen Trump words. They are far too extensive to fit in a Lingua Franca post, even several posts. But here’s a full post for one entry, illustrated by three ample citations:
* Trumpertantrum, n. Also Trumper-tantrum or Trumper tantrum. See the quotation for the meaning. Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially with U.S. politics; infrequent)
-- Going right at Trump in the way Trump usually eviscerates opponents, Cruz said, “Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum, or, rather, a ‘Trumpertantrum.’ It seems his reaction to everything is to throw a fit. I understand Donald Trump has a hard time losing, but the people of Iowa have spoken.” Geoff Earle, “Wild a’Cruz’ations ‘Losing It’ Trump: Ted ‘stole’ Iowa,” New York Post, February 4, 2016, p. 10.
-- Donald Trump knows a good business opportunity when he sees it and he says Ted Cruz may be on to something after going nuclear on Wednesday and while classifying Trump’s recent Twitter meltdown as a “Trumpertantrum.” Chad Merda, “Trump on ‘Trumpertantrum': I’m Going to Trademark It,” Sun Times, February 4, 2016.
-- Cruz shot back with his fiercest attack yet on the man who has dominated opinion polls in New Hampshire, suggesting the reality star doesn’t like the reality of losing. He’s having a “Trumpertantrum,” Cruz told reporters. “He’s losing it.” “Bromance Turns to Brawl: Trump and Cruz Drop the Gloves.” The Hamilton Spectator), February 3, 2016.
(To be continued next week with a list of the whole collection.)