This week’s visitor to The Lexeme Lounge is none other than the larger-than-life—TRUMP. I tried, I really did, to avoid the siren song of this immensely topical word, but the lure of mating the nasty woman linguistics with the bad hombre politics proved too great a pleasure for my humble flesh.
‘Trump’ is an uncomplicated beast of a word—longer perhaps than most one syllable utterances, but of no intrinsically greater beauty. Each letter carries its own sound which remains largely unaffected by the others. There are no secrets to ‘trump’, no subtleties or hidden depths. The most you can do is roll that ‘r’ (/trrrrrrump/) and that only works if you want to sound pretentious. I suppose you could shout and puff your lips as you enunciate, but frankly, though it might draw attention, it would be silly.
So what have we got? WYSIWYG. A word that sounds as it’s spelled and is spelled as it sounds. But that’s not enough for The Lexeme Lounge. Once a word enters our portals we must dissect and analyze, make odd associations and comments.
‘Trump’ can be divided into two major sound bites, each having their own and contradictory effects.
It begins with the ‘tr’ blend /tr/, sounding as it’s spelled—the sharp authoritarian bite of the initial /t/ bumping into the rotund yet still domineering /r/. The sound of this attention-seeking blend bleeds into the fatness of the vowel /u/ and consonant /m/ combination /um/ which could lead one to think that the word is planning to end in a more casual way than it begins. But that assumption is immediately proven false by the abrupt stoppage of the final /p/. The power of this last consonant is lost however due to its unvoiced and largely powerless nature. No matter how one looks at it, or how hard ‘trump’ tries, the letters and sounds fail to deliver any real satisfaction.
All is not lost however. Despite failing to deliver on a phonological level, ‘trump’ supplies endless morphological amusement.
A quick visit to http://www.rhymezone.com/ serves up a stunning smorgasbord of Seussian sound: bump, chump, clump, crump, dump, flump, frump, glump, grump, gump, hump, jump, klump, krump, kump, lump, plump, pump, rump, schlump, scrump, shlump, slump, stump, sump, thrump, thump, whump.
Now there’s a field day in the making for the dedicated wordsmith or minor poet. “Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McFrump had 23 sons and she named them all Trump?” A quick click here will take you to this week’s Lexeme Lounge Supplemental—Trumps in Pumps.
Once we’ve exhausted our childlike enthusiasm for rhyme, we can explore further the definitions and uses of ‘trump’ and of two other words of which ‘trump’ forms a major component, to wit: trumpery and trumpet.
- to outdo or surpass
- to produce a sound upon or as if upon the trumpet
- to proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare
- (Brit, slang) to expel intestinal gas through the anus
TRUMP UP (Phrasal verb)
to devise deceitfully or dishonestly
- something without use or value; rubbish; trash; worthless stuff
- nonsense; twaddle
- worthless finery
of little or no value; trifling, worthless; rubbishy; trashy
any instrument consisting of a valveless tube ending in a bell, esp. a straight instrument used for fanfares, signals, etc.
- a sound like that of a trumpet
- the loud shrill cry of an animal, especially an elephant.
- to proclaim loudly or widely
BLOW ONE’S OWN TRUMPET
to boast about oneself; brag
I leave you to draw your own conclusions and trumpet them to the world.