The other day my 7-year-old was chatting away about some odd thing or another — a not infrequent occurrence. But this time instead of pretending to understand words like Zombie Pigmen or Squirtle, I heard a word I recognized: egomaniac. I didn’t catch the context, but knew immediately why this had entered my son’s lexicon: Trump. This got me wondering… What other words has my kid learned since DJT became president?
As a candidate and up through his first 222 days in office (but who’s counting?), 45 has introduced the American people to new levels of divisiveness, self-involvement, and volatility. He’s also introduced Americans — and our children — to a whole lot of new words.
Some of these are words adults don’t typically teach to kids due to them being entirely inappropriate. Many are words whose definitions have been tainted by POTUS-association. And quite a few are completely made up — maniacally spewed from Cheeto-In-Chief’s raging maw.
So as it’s a brand new school year, I’ve compiled a vocabulary list — an ABCs of the unfortunate, vulgar, disturbing words my child and others have learned these recent dark months.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE ABCs of TRUMP
WARNING: As with everything Trump-related, some language may not be suitable for children. Or anyone, for that matter.
A is for ARMAGEDDON
Armageddon was one of those films I look forward to watching with my son in a few years. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon, devouring popcorn and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. Now the actuality looms on the horizon, thanks to our posturing POTUS. Where’s a squad of slow-motion-walking misfits you need them? • Additional As: arrogant; alternative facts; alt-right
His ego knows no bounds — so it made sense Trump would make up a word to exaggerate his exaggerations. But it turned out that a) he was maybe saying big league instead; and b) bigly is an actual word, though categorized by Dictionary.com as archaic (meaning nobody uses it anymore, so you’re weird if you do). Either way, Merriam-Webster honored bigly as one of the most-searched words in 2016. And what was the top Word of the Year for 2016? Surreal. • Bonus Bs: buffoon; Breitbart; blowhard; bigot
(Aren’t you proud I made it through that without a single joke about Trump’s decidedly non-bigly hands?)
C is for COVFEFE
From the incoherent confabulation of Adolf Twitler. • Other Cs: collusion; combover; confederacy
D is for DRUMPF
The original spelling of Trump’s family name — a glorious mash-up of drunk, rump, dump, and umpf (the noise a horse taking a crap makes). To learn more about this wonderful word, its origins, and how to use it further to annoy DJD, visit DonaldJDrumpf.com. BONUS: Includes a plugin that turns every Trump in your browser to Drumpf. • Additional Ds: distraction; delusional; douchebag
As the inspiration for this list, I’m not sure there’s a word that better suits America’s trumped-up tyrant.
F is for FAKE NEWS
Taken individually, most kids know what these words mean. Yet Trump and his minions have thrown this phrase around long and often enough to engender a whole chunk of our country to his way of (not) thinking. As a result, I worry how and by whom truthful, unbiased information will be disseminated when my son and his peers are old enough to vote.
G is for GOLDEN SHOWERS
While this rumor turned out to be false, it’s just as horrifying that few thought it beyond the realm of possibility. Pro Tip: If you must explain this term, just tell your kids that it’s referring to Trump’s gold-plated bathroom. #AlternativeTruths • Extra Gs: greedy; grotesque; gluttonous
H is for HACKERS
Once just a mediocre, mid-90s film starring a young Angelina Jolie, real-life hackers may be the smoking gun that finally (hopefully, please god) proves our president, his posse, and his Putin are not only incompetent, but criminal. • More Hs: homophobic; hyperbolic; Hitleresque
I is for IMPEACHMENT
Has a generation of children ever heard this word so early in a president’s term before an elected president was even inaugurated? Here’s to more hearing(s). • Optional Is: intolerant; inept; infrastructure
While kids may have heard this word pre-Trump, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t used to describe someone with access to the nuclear codes.
K is for KKK
Recently my son won one of those monster finger puppets from the claw game at an arcade. After pondering it for a bit, he declared, “I think I’m going to name it ‘KKK.'” Papa and I frantically blurted out “NO!” in unison, which both startled and confused him. Sensing we weren’t following his nomenclature logic, my 7-year-old thoughtfully explained, “But it’s a monster.” I guess he does understand what it means.
L is for LEAKERS
No, not a brand of shitty diapers. But certainly a hallmark of Trump’s shitty brand. When you deal in deception, distraction, and defamation, it’s gonna come back to bite you in the ass again and again and again. • Extra L: lunatic
M is for MAGA
Alt-Right acronym. Hypocritical hashtag. Jingoistic jingle. Stands for “Make America Great Again”… and the best example of unintentional irony I’ve ever come across. • More Ms: misogyny; Muslim Ban; The Mooch
N is for NARCISSIST
Kids begin learning about narcissism from a very young age. Think of all the fictional characters that are full of themselves: the buck naked Emperor; Snow White’s mirror-gazing stepmonster; the snooty-nosed Sneetches; Pooh’s overconfident pal, Tigger; Bart Simpson and his portly protégé, Eric Cartman; He Who Shall Not Be Named, to name a few.
Granted, politicians need a healthy dose of egotism to be successful. But DJT’s blind self-love is undeserved, unending, and unhinged. • Additional Ns: Neo-Nazi; nepotism; nuclear holocaust
O is for OPULENT
The Donald has always been known to have opulent taste. But all his garishness takes on an extra layer of gold-plated hypocrisy as he courts the unemployed and working poor… all while referring to the White House as “a real dump.” • Optional Os: obnoxious; oppressive
P is for PUSSY-GRABBER
If your child happens to hear this phrase, use the opportunity to remind them to be kind to animals. And to keep their hands to themselves. And that they won’t get far in life being abusive and grabby. 😿 • Bonus P: pompous
noun. 1. An awkward, complex, or hazardous situation. Synonyms: mess, predicament, can of worms, quandary, trouble, confusion. The perfect script for Trump’s first State of the Union.
R is for RATINGS
A surprise to no one, a reality TV star turned POTUS is obsessed with ratings. Whether it’s disputing the impotent crowds at his inauguration, or praising the “great turnout” at a speech given in a hurricane-ravaged Texas town, The Donald is in a constant popularity contest where he’s always the winner… and often the only contestant. In addition to the word itself, what message is DJT’s focus on ratings teaching our children? It’s teaching them that being popular is more important than being right. That being right is better than being good. And that if you say it often enough, you’ll convince yourself (and half the country) that you’re always popular, always right, and always good. • Extra Rs: repugnant, recuse, rapey
S is for SAD
Of course kids already know what sad means. But never has anyone used it in such an immature and combative way. Sad. • Other Ss: servers; swastika; sociopath
T is for TRANSPHOBIC
When Trump initiated a ban on transgender people serving in the military, the most powerful man in the world tyrannized some of the most marginalized among us. Parents, this is a great opportunity to not only teach your kids about bullying and fairness, but also about trans people. Emphasis on people — as in, fully and equally deserving of opportunity, happiness, and respect. • More Ts: tampering; treason
U is for UNQUALIFIED
There were so many “un” words I could have listed, but this one strikes me as the most relevant… and terrifying.
V is for VILE
I’ve always loved the word vile for its ability to pack so much meaning into so few letters. Some of its synonyms include: wretched, offensive, repulsive, depraved, filthy, horrid, abominable, loathsome, hateful, disgraceful, nauseating, shocking, deplorable, monstrous, wicked and gross. One could construct an additional Trump alphabet from this word alone. In fact, this might be the best word for us parents to use to describe Trump when we’re around our kids. It’s powerful, chock full of meaning, and won’t get them sent to the principal’s office for repeating it. • Optional Vs: vain; villainous
W is for WALL
Kids know walls. Humpty Dumpty sat on one. Spider-Man crawls them. Minecrafters construct them. Then of course there’s Trump’s border wall. And yes, most kids know about that one, too. When I picked my son up from school the day after the election, he was genuinely worried that his brown friends would be sent to Mexico, not able to return because of the wall. He was just barely seven years old.
And then there are the figurative walls. While children may not fully grasp this definition, they can certainly experience it. Not since the Civil War have there been so many stark divisions between Americans — and ways to make so many feel separate. Women, people of color, religious minorities, the LGBTQ community — we’re seeing old, cracking walls reinforced with fear, hatred, and violence. And while these existed before Trump took office, he’s done nothing to do away with them. His various cabinet appointments and general complicity are as harmful as if he’d actively taken away rights from minority groups. Oh wait… • Bonus Ws: Wikileaks
Speaking of walls, you know who’s going to actually end up paying it, don’t you? Our kids.
Y is for YUGE
Things that are: Trump’s inflated sense of self; his diplomatic blunders; his freakish coif. Things that are not: POS45’s inaugural crowd; his understanding of anything he was elected to do; his hands. By the way kids, that’s not how you spell it.
Z is for ZEALOT
Trump’s attempts to appear spiritual have been cringe-inducing. His true zeal is for the Cult of Donald. Any criticism directed his way he either embraces with shallow pride or denies it outright — even with mountains of evidence to the contrary.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Has there ever been a president — a person — so full of themselves, blind to the truth, and irrationally ignorant? This is why I weep for all our children’s futures. And yet, I’m resolved to diligently teach my child to be the opposite of Trump in every way, from A to Z.
Is this grim glossary a helpful silver lining in an otherwise dismal time? Or just plain sad? I’ll leave that to you to judge. But while you’re at it, please share in the comments any words or phrases your kids have learned — or that you’ve had to explain to them — since this whole mess began.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .