- Miss USA thought everyone spoke English—and the internet is not amused Thursday 8:02 PM
- Kanye’s Twitter tirade prompts apology from Drake Thursday 6:00 PM
- Listen to Pitbull cover Toto’s ‘Africa’ for the ‘Aquaman’ soundtrack—or don’t Thursday 4:55 PM
- Nancy Pelosi’s coat is the meme the resistance needed Thursday 4:39 PM
- Oprah says what was really on her mind while she ate bland chicken Thursday 4:00 PM
- Democrats predicted to go in on net neutrality when they take House Thursday 3:33 PM
- Holland Tunnel decorations are a real nightmare before Christmas Thursday 2:12 PM
- Amazon still won’t say whether ICE uses its facial recognition tech Thursday 1:13 PM
- Ninja to host Thursday Night Football Thursday 12:00 PM
- How to stream the NFL’s Week 15 for free Thursday 12:00 PM
- An undecorated room sets off a debate on Twitter Thursday 11:42 AM
- Netflix announces Taylor Swift ‘Reputation’ concert film Thursday 11:29 AM
- People are making memes out of these ‘leaked’ ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ posters Thursday 11:12 AM
- How to watch the Liga MX final between Club América and Cruz Azul online for free Thursday 10:38 AM
- Parents shocked by KKK costumes in school play Thursday 10:11 AM
The dictionary’s Twitter account has become as much of a must-read as the president’s.
Trump criticized the North Korean leader in his United Nations General Assembly speech earlier this week, calling him “Rocket Man” and threatening to annihilate the insular nation. Kim Jong-un fired back last night, labeling the president a “frightened dog,” “mentally deranged,” and a “dotard.”
In response, searches for the latter term hit an instant high, and Merriam-Webster, already a trusted resource during tumultuous and confusing times, was there to meet demand. Though the dictionary frequently tweets trending terms and topics, rarely has it called search volume “high as a kite.”
📈 Kim Jong Un calls Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Searches for 'dotard' are high as a kite. https://t.co/HztPoLSjXi
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 21, 2017
Though “dotard” literally just refers to someone “in his or her dotage,” the term has everyone bickering over its true provenance.
POTUS is such a Dotard that he has me agreeing with another foreign dictator.
Does Dotard derive from D'oh! ? pic.twitter.com/6xZ8UfdYjy
— ɠεɱɱα εℓεαɳσ૨ (@Gemma__Eleanor) September 21, 2017
It's pronounced d'oh turd right?
— (((FrenchCori))) (@frenchcori) September 22, 2017
It's pronounced Donald.
— kthorning (@kthorning) September 22, 2017
— Mary Birdsong (@marybirdsong) September 22, 2017
Jokes aside, there is something of an etymological history to dig through here; Merriam-Webster notes the term’s original meaning was more in line with “imbecile” when it was introduced seven centuries ago.
America has collectively learned a new word regardless, but all this debate presumes that Kim Jong-un’s letter was accurately translated to English in the first place. One Twitter user suggests that a more accurate gloss of the insult hurled at Trump is “old beast lunatic,” which sounds like a little-known addition to the Wu-Tang Clan more than anything else.
The Korean original statement said "늙다리 미치광이," which means old beast lunatic — which was translated into "dotard." https://t.co/2uQ0Xsxe2X
— Jihye Lee 이지혜 (@TheJihyeLee) September 21, 2017
Not since “covfefe” has the nation taken such a vested interest in lexicography. Maybe next, we can all race to learn to read Korean.
Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.