Talking Trump: Dictionary of the Not-Normal

A call for neologisms for the Trump Era.

By Hossannah Asuncion and Caitlin Delohery

Trumpschämen (n)

  1. The feeling of shame for one’s country

  2. The feeling that hasn’t left Americans since November 9, 2016



From “locker room talk” to “alternative facts,” the gaslighting that got Trump and co. in power began with them weaponizing language. And in this surreal/waking-nightmare new world of ours, we need to create new language to name our shared experiences, to stay sane, to fight back.  

Below are some of these common experiences. Let’s work together to name our new pathologies so we can find cures for them. 

  1. A word for that hard blink that comes after you read, “Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States”
  2. A word for when your emotional capacity bottoms out and you can’t do anything but scroll Buzzfeed cute animal lists
  3. A name for closet Trump supporters who are now out racists
  4. A word for when comedy is broken because life is its own satire
  5. A word for the look folks of color give each other because “it’s always been this bad/I knew it”
  6. A word for keeping Trump supporters as Facebook friends because know thy enemy
  7. A word for when you’re simultaneously entertained and disgusted by the latest Trump news💰☔️
  8.  The word for that feeling of just waiting for a terrible thought about a thing Trump may or may not do to pass through your consciousness
  9. A word for wishing you had younger bone density and more flexibility for the revolution
  10. A word for the sensation of current reality peeling off of known reality, as a result of this surreality enduring for too long
  11. A word for the specific nausea of looking at Trump’s face
  12. A word for the pity you feel for the color orange

Have a word for a definition? Have a definition that needs a word? Place them in the comments below.




Hossannah Asuncion teaches, eats, and chihuahuas.

Her first collection, Object Permanence, is out from Magic Helicopter Press, and it’s totally freaking her out.




Caitlin Delohery is a writer and editor. She’s currently coping with conversation and collaboration, the entire Sleater-Kinney oeuvre on shuffle, and militant self-care. She lives in Portland with her family, too many animals, and too many books



Filed under Everything Else

3 Responses to Talking Trump: Dictionary of the Not-Normal

  1. lacey

    we need a word for the fragmented fear that crackles inside with constancy, giving rise to periodic tears and preventing absolutely any concentration, unless maybe one can wrap oneself up in some story about vengeance i.e. Kill Bill or Law and Order: SVU, but even that is a long shot and you’re running out of seasons and your work reports keep accidentally including the words “fuck” and “fucking”

  2. Lesley

    We need a word for the love we still hold for our beautiful country, and that moment you burst into tears when you hear the national anthem, but that somehow also acknowledges that it was built on the backs of the poor, enslaved people, was stolen land and kingdoms made that denied they continued the pattern of Lord and Serf and lets us still feel pride so we don’t jump off of bridges and turn on our neighbors.

  3. Carol Selzer

    We need a word for the feeling that we get when we hear something the president says, that makes us laugh at the absurdity and cry with the hopelessness at the same time.

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