The war of words between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un got positively esoteric today, with the Asian leader denouncing Trump as a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who he would tame “with fire.” Kim’s statements came after Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea and its “Rocket Man” leader at the U.N. earlier this week. (We kind of get the sense that these two guys—and nobody else forced to live with them on our fragile little planet—are actually enjoying the shit out of this fiery rhetoric stuff.)
Luckily, for those of us whose reading habits don’t include obscure insults to the senile, Merriam-Webster was on hand, as ever, to help edify our ongoing journey through the hellscape that is the English language in the era of Trump. The dictionary’s Twitter account noted tonight that searches for “dotard”—“a person in his or her dotage”—had understandably skyrocketed today.
Our favorite fact from M-W, though, is the original meaning of the phrase that Kim’s translators turned into dotard: “old beast lunatic,” which, we have to admit, carries a bit more punch than references to old Elton John tracks.