The slur, shouted at BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray by two unidentified men at Trump’s rally in Cleveland, pre-dates the Nazis and was used at first by the German government during World War I to designate foreign writing as propaganda, according to the Washington Post.
Hitler used the term to describe the “apparatus” of his political critics, the East German government used it to decry capitalist influence, and as recently as 2015, anti-migrant organizers in Germany have used it to notify each other that members of the media were in attendance at their meetings, according to the newspaper.
That last usage won the recognition of a panel of German linguists, who called "lügenpresse"—literally, "lying press"—the "non-word of the year" for its increasingly sinister and xenophobic usage in the country, as Gray noted.
“I see ‘lying press’ and ‘Lügenpresse’ all over the place,” white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer told Gray. “It’s typical Alt Right: serious… ironic… and with a sly reference to boot.”
Friendly interaction outside the press pen. "Lugenpresse!" pic.twitter.com/MWUZynJ8jx
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) October 23, 2016