trump adj. [millionaire property developer, Donald Trump (b.1946)]
[1990s+] (US black) rich and successful, with overtones of flashiness.
trump n.[SUP]2[/SUP] [card-playing imagery]
1. [early 19C+] an admirable person, an excellent fellow.
2. [mid-19C] an excellent thing; a stroke of luck.
3. [1900s–60s] (Aus./N.Z., also trump of the dump) a person in charge.
trump n.[SUP]1[/SUP] [18C–1900s] an act of breaking wind audibly; occas. also a similar sound emitted from the vagina during intercourse.
The most creative kind of communication obeys no rules, writes Jonathon Green
There are 130,000 words and phrases in my database of slang. Look at the vocabulary contained within, and it’s immediately obvious this is not a feel-good environment. The compassionate, the empathetic, the kind of heart need not enter here. In a world where aggression – one-to-one, international, screaming from the foetid underside of social media – is the go-to emotion, slang, never one to mind its language, seems the go-to way of speech.
Slang, as I have been reminded constantly while studying this brilliantly creative element of our language for my new book, is an unsafe space. It has no time for political correctness, none for true belief. Neither is it that pious product of Victorian muscular Christianity, Mrs Do-As-You-Would-Be-Done-By, nor does it turn the other cheek, other perhaps than shifting a buttock all the better to deliver a noisome fart. Racist and nationalist, all-purpose-sexist, variously phobic, if it lacks micro-aggressions then it is because such piffling teases in turn lack sufficient antagonism. It is contemptuous of the special snowflakes and their identity politics, and if it tosses snowballs they are lined with stones. It is filled with stereotypes – how else to define the necessary “other” against whom it aims its weaponry – but it lays down no laws, no diktats, no ukases. It is neither naive nor optimistic, it does not demand that things be otherwise, it knows too much. It is, in other words, real.
Too real? So some complain, but slang, with its emphasis on sex, drugs and at least in a figurative sense, all the self-indulgences that can be labelled rock ’n’ roll, represents its users not as they should be, but how they are. But as the comedian Lenny Bruce noted: everybody wants what should be, but what should be does not exist. There is only what is. Slang is.
an edited excerpt from ‘The Stories of Slang: Language at Its Most Human’ by Jonathon Green