Donald Trump is the Definition of “Trump”

While we’re on the subject of the English language, let’s talk about “Trump.”

When used as a verb, U.S. president Donald Trump’s surname is most often interpreted as “to surpass” or “to beat,” a terminology familiar from card games. Such usage  was popularized in the 1580s, when Middle English reigned, and which traces its origins to around the 1520s, when “to trump” was first used as “to triumph.” But this is not the first “ to trump,” and while Donald Trump undoubtedly prefers this dominant definition, the first, which is worse, is far more fitting — and French!

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Noah Webster Knew Despots Despise Education

Happy National Dictionary Day! In case you’re not aware, every October 16 word nerds celebrate the 1758 birth of Noah Webster, the “Father of American Education.” While honoring the man who standardized American English may seem stodgy, Webster was actually quite the radical.

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