If you watched President Donald Trump’s most recent news conference, you may have reached a point midway through when you thought: “That’s strange, I don’t recall buying a one-way ticket to Crazytown.”
Don’t be alarmed. That’s a perfectly normal reaction, as most Americans are what I call “Trump-illiterate.” They hear words coming out of the president’s mouth but have no clue what those words actually mean.
For example, during his Thursday news conference, Trump talked about leaks coming from the intelligence community, saying, “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake.”
Saying that a thing is real but reports about that thing are fake might seems like a logical fallacy. It’s not, and Trump would call you very dumb for thinking such a thing. (That wouldn’t be an insult. In Trumpglish, “very dumb” translates to “I’m frustrated because you’re asking something I don’t want to answer.”)
The rough Trumpglish-to-English translation of “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake” is: “The leaks are absolutely real, which sucks. The news is also real, but I’m not going to admit it ever, ever, ever, ever.”
Having majored in Trumpglish at Trump University, I’m happy to help my fellow citizens adapt to this new and wildly predictable language.
Here, then, is a list of commonly used Trumpglish words and phrases followed by their English translation.
Bad: Generally means “good,” particularly when applied to something good that Trump considers bad.
Good: Not good at all. Trumpglish synonyms of this word include “the best,” “the greatest,” “spectacular,” “amazing” and “so amazing.”
Fake news: Real news that makes Trump look bad.
Dishonest media: Any media person or outlet reporting news that makes Trump look bad.
Honest reporter: Sean Hannity.
Fine-tuned machine: Complete and utter Dumpster fire.
The biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan: My margin of victory ranked 46th out of 58 U.S. presidential elections.
The failing New York Times: The newspaper that has seen subscriptions soar since Trump was elected president.
I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life: I am a 70-year-old man who doesn’t understand what anti-Semitism means, and I have curried favor with white nationalists who know exactly what anti-Semitism means.
I am the least racist person: I am a 70-year-old man who doesn’t understand what racism means, and I’ve been using this line my entire life because it makes me feel better about myself.
Real Americans: People who voted for me and believe everything I say, even when I say things that make no sense, like: “The leaks are real. The news is fake.”
I’m sorry: (Definition not available as these words have never been spoken.)
Putin: Best. Pal. Ever.
Leaks: Bad if they involve Trump, good if they involve anyone else.
Inner City: The mysterious place where Trump believes all black people live.
A great wall: A pipe dream.
I’ll be in Melbourne, Fla., five o’clock on Saturday and I heard — just heard that the crowds are massive that want to be there: I’m a transparently fragile man who was not hugged enough as a child, and I desperately need to believe that I am loved and powerful.
We’re doing very well: This is hard and everything’s falling apart, please impeach me so I can go back to television.
Thank you: I hate you.
Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Readers may email him at email@example.com.