As a TV star he was known as the Trumpster. It’s an interesting way to construct a nickname. The definite article elevates the subject to guru status, while the diminutive suffix suggests intimacy and affection. Not everyone with a following gets this treatment, but not every name lends itself to the form. Try it with Kasich.
The word Trumpster floats poetically between trickster and dumpster. Now that Trump’s followers are getting almost as much attention as the man himself, it has acquired a new meaning as a term for the true believers, otherwise known as trumplings.
Trump’s name has turned out to be a linguistic playground. Even in its original form it’s richly evocative, suggesting a winning hand, while carrying lofty suggestions of a ceremonial fanfare, a martial summons, or a final encounter with the Almighty as imagined by St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: Behold, we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. Less loftily, it’s slang for fart.
Dictionary definitions of ‘trumpery’ are suddenly popular (calculated to deceive by false show, trifles, rubbish, nonsense). Commentators have come up with the term Trumponomics, which is a bit like designing the packaging for some brilliant devise that hasn’t been invented yet. Then there’s the name’s irresistible rhyming potential, exploited by the Dump Trump movement. For some, the Trump Rump is the part of the anatomy from which the would-be president speaks. I hope to see the same phrase recycled for the surviving Donald-loyalists once the Republican Party has splintered irrevocably into warring factions and the body politic is on a waiting list for a trumpectomy.
Meanwhile, here are a few Trump variations that have not yet entered the lexicon:
Trumpf – a cascade of meaningless words
Trumpkopf – an impressionable voter
Trumpen proletariat – economically disadvantaged people who have not yet worked out that they should be voting for Bernie Sanders
Trumpo – one who suffers from the delusion that in uttering xenophobic slurs he is courageously standing up to the ‘new McCarthyism’ of political correctness
Trumple – to implode after a meteoric rise