US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un may be engaged in a game of nuclear table tennis, but at least the verbal battle is getting people interested in English again.
Discounting Trump’s covfefe moment, a new word has sparked the imagination of the internet, and it’s courtesy of Kim Jong Un.
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Calling Trump “deranged” and a “frightened dog”, Kim Jong Un also labelled the US leader a “dotard” (this after translation).
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
Naturally, the internet latched onto the word, and frantically slammed the six letters into Google.
According to the Mountain View search giant, queries for “dotard” heavily outweighed those for “Donald Trump” within 24 hours.
Over on Twitter, users also embraced the word, with some nodding indefinitely upon learning its definition.
It is a sad, sad day when Kim Jong Un, who is completely mentally unstable, makes loads more sense than the American president.#dotard
— SheetcakingThruThis (@SheetcakingThru) September 22, 2017
Haha everyone’s looking up ‘dotard’ and saying “oh, yeah, that’s bang on actually”
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) September 22, 2017
Everyone on Twitter
– OMG HE CALLED TRUMP A #dotard
– Is that a word?
– Wait…is that a real word?
– *looks up word*
– HE IS A DOTARD!
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) September 22, 2017
— Simar (@sahluwal) September 22, 2017
Merriam-Webster also helped users crack the code.
“Kim Jong Un calls Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Searches for ‘dotard’ are high as a kite,” the dictionary company tweeted.
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
The tweet itself received over 7000 retweets, with 12500 spare likes to boot.
But the word has a lesser known meaning. Merriam-Webster explains:
The word as used today commonly means “a person in his or her dotage” (dotage is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness”). Dotard, which comes from the Middle English word doten (meaning “to dote”), initially had the meaning of “imbecile” when it began being used in the 14th century.
While this incident will undoubtedly spurn a slew of memes, it’s also getting the internet interested in words again. That’s a good thing for the digital realm, especially as social media becomes increasingly entranced by a surge of visual content.
And better yet, it’s a real word. Sorry covfefe and Nambia.