HBD, ‘OED’

The Oxford English Dictionary debuted on this date in 1884. It soon became a go-to glossary the world over, and expanding its enormity exponentially, so much so that in 1900 the wires ran this rundown of impressive OED-related statistics, i.e.: column lengths vis-à-vis equivalent geographical distance, etc.

And the OED continues to grow, adding new words every year. This year’s freshman lexemes include “ransomware,” “me time,” and “dickish,” which could be synonym for another new entry, “mansplaining.” HBD, OED!

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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