Trumpery is a 15th century word that means what you think

How could anyone in the 15th century know that Trumpery was going to be a thing in the 21st century?


Definition of TRUMPERY (Merriam Webster)

noun trum·pery \ˈtrəm-p(ə-)rē\

    a  :  worthless nonsense
    b  :  trivial or useless articles :  junk <a wagon loaded with household trumpery — Washington Irving>
archaic  :  tawdry finery

The oxford dictionary defines it as:

“Practices or beliefs that are superficially or visually appealing but have little real value or worth.”

If used as an adjective to describe something, Oxford Dictionaries show:

 Showy but worthless and Delusive or shallow:


Other synonyms for Trumpery from Merriam Webster include:

Balderdash, baloney, blarney, blah (also blah blah), claptrap, crapola, folly, foolishness, hogwash, hooey, humbuggery, poppycock, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, stupidity, nonsense.

It’s profoundly ironic that a man named Donald Trump comes to us on the wings of public grandstanding with little substance to back up his words. “Trust Me,” or “Ill be the best you ever seen,” are the epitome of Donald Trump’s platform, and those words pretty much sum up classic Trumpery.

It’s almost like his hollow showmanship and the link to his name were planned.

So, who in the 15th century could have predicted Donald Trump’s rise in popularity under these very prescient ideas?

Well, Michelle De Nostradamus, for one.


“The high and tall, come into Milan, The Abbot of Foix with thofe of Saint Maure, Shall make the trumpery being cloathed like rogues.”


“No, I’ll not chalk my face or smear myself with phosphorus to amuse such trumpery.”


So, the next time Donald Trump opens his mouth, we can all celebrate his Trumpery, but we won’t be able to claim the word as our own. Apparently, it’s been done before, and has been for hundreds of years.

About Mike Quinn

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