President Trump’s Favorite Words

The unique vocabulary of Donald J. Trump

It's hard to believe, but the presidential term of Donald Trump is almost a quarter complete. Now, we could debate about what has gone on inside and outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for days. But, we're not a forum for that. We are, however, excited to examine the unique vocabulary that Trump has brought to the Oval Office. Jennifer Sclafani is a linguist at Georgetown University, and she says "he is interesting to me because linguistically, he speaks like everyone else, and we're not used to hearing that from the President."

And, Trump definitely has some favorite words . . . let's take a look at a few from his first term as President.


Whether it's something he just likes saying or a pronunciation affected by his understated New York accent, yuge is a prime example of Trump's linguistics in action. When talking about a truly grandiose scale: think solid-gold staircases—that's yuge.

Mental Floss notes that the word has been a featured term in the NYC and Philadelphia areas for years as well as overseas in the Irish cities of Cork and Dublin. They also accurately observed that the "h-dropping occurs in a specific environment: only in words that start with a hu—huge, humid, humongous." Seems like New York followed Trump into the White House with this one.


We haven't heard this one much lately, but it's a legitimate word. We define it as "in a big way; greatly: Their gifts made the children smile bigly." If you'll recall the campaign in the fall of 2016, Trump used the term in a debate, and it pretty much short-circuited Twitter. To which, Donald Jr. flatly stated "he said 'big league'." You decide.

Believe me

Believe me is an ordinary expression used most often to assure people that what you're saying is credible, i.e., "You can trust me on this, right?"

Trump has been questioned throughout his presidential campaign and first term, so it's not very surprising that he tacks on this phrase to the end of many of this talking points, just to hit it home that he is a reliable source of information . . . even if you are reading that information on Twitter.


This is a pejorative term that is meant as an insult—no other way to spin it. It's a real hard-hitter, and Trump has proven that he's not shy of hard-hitting. However, we hope this is a word he uses less of in his second year, it's better to build 'em up rather than to knock em' down.


This is another one that carries a lot of weight, especially if a person of power uses it. Trump has used the term a lot, describing everyone from Cher to terrorists as losers.

There are two schools of thought here. One might suggest this approach is an indiscriminate use of the term, which may make its effect less serious. On the other hand, carpet-bombing your foes with this insult may be the path of least resistance that provides the highest return: a reaction. Either way, another one to retire for sure.


Using these terms frequently is a way of choosing sides. It's "us" versus "them." We're the "good guys," and they're the "bad guys." Creating sides starts conversation and debate, and maybe that's the silver lining of the we/they conundrum. Complicity no more?

Then again, sometimes Trump just uses we all by its lonesome (Twitter never forgets). Mysterious . . . .


Great is a commonly used term to denote something that is really good, really outstanding. Example: "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border." And, who can forget "Make America great again!" We sure can't and neither can most television shows, comedians, article headlines, news reports. Seems like people are making a lot great again these days.


In the early hours of May 31, 2017, the President decides to tweet, "Despite the negative press covfefe." That's it. Not only is there no such word, it's a glaring sentence fragment. No one knows what it means, either—save a small, exclusive circle of White House personnel.

In the New York Times, former press secretary Sean Spicer said "The President and a small group of people know exactly what he meant." Considering the context it was used in, maybe it's code for coverage, as in "despite the negative press coverage." Regardless, we wouldn't be surprised if this word joins the English lexicon for good after all of its press covfefe this year.

Fire and fury

President Donald Trump has been known to make some controversial remarks once in awhile. One that definitely got people's attention was this quote from August 8, 2017: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

We define fire as a "a destructive conflagration," and fury as "unrestrained or violent anger, rage, passion, or the like." So, fire and fury used together in this context is indeed a very pointed threat. Back to the hard-hitting with this phrase.

Fake news

Of course, the term is now commonly used to describe some type of disinformation that is disseminated. Trump claims he invented the term, which The Washington Post says is untrue. But, what the heck, we're adding it anyway, because even if Trump didn't coin it, he definitely put it on the map.