Merriam-Webster jumped into action on Thursday to refute President Donald Trump’s inaccurate claim that he invented the phrase “prime the pump.”
In an interview published Thursday by the Economist, Trump said he “came up with” the phrase recently.
“Have you heard that expression before?” he asked. “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”
'Pump priming' has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933. https://t.co/VfkGwwzZRC
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 11, 2017
Not only did Trump not invent the phrase, as the dictionary pointed out, but he used it more than “a couple of days ago” to pump up his economic policy.
In a speech in December, Trump told supporters that he would “prime the pump” and “get the jobs.”
And in an interview with Time after the magazine named him “Person of the Year,” Trump used the phrase to describe his plans for infrastructure spending and tax cuts.