Donald Trump’s dictionary


“He’s been a wacko for years, and everyone knows it.”, October 7, 2020

American version of wacky, whacky, absurdly or amusingly eccentric or irrational, crazy [1].

From the verb whack [hwak] (originally Scottish) to strike with a smart or resounding blow [1]. First known use  in 1719 [1]. Thus whacky should refer to a crazy person because of his head hit by a strike. The same path from ‘strike’ to ‘crazy’ occurred to Italian adjective toccato, past participle of toccare, in the meaning of ‘persona stravagante, mattoide, scombinata [2]’, same as whacky.

Commonly whack is assumed of imitative origin, as the cognate thwack, to strike with something  flat or heavy [1].  An alternative would be the PIE root *tehg, to touch, Middle English, thakken, to stroke, Latin, tango, to touch [3].

Lamestream media

The Lamestream Media is stuck with him and they are just now trying to clean up his act.“, October 7, 2020.

Lame-stream, alteration of mainstream (traditional from of communication, like news paper, television, radio as opposed to Internet), with the pejorative meaning suggested by the adjective  lame, physically disabled, weak, halting in movement.

Lame, from Old English, lama, crippled, from Proto-Germanic *lamaz, weak-limbed, from the PIE root *lem-, to crush, fragile [3].


[1] Merriam-Webster, 2020

[2] M. Dogliotti and L. Rosiello (eds), Il nuovo Zinfgarelli. Vocabolario della Lingua Italiana, 11a edizione, Zanichelli, 1983, Bologna.

[3] Wiktionary, whack.