Merriam-Webster Thwacks Trump For Claiming He Coined ‘Prime The Pump’

Evan Vucci/AP

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.”

Merriam-Webster, who spent the 2016 presidential election pointing out misspellings in Trump’s tweets, took to Twitter to annotate his latest claim.

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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