What’s in a name?

Unaccustomed as I am to making speeches – I recognise there are certain ‘tricks’ to assist me if I ever was called upon.

A common ruse is the ‘best man’ method – trying to make humour of an embarrasing or humorous anecdote. Being relevant would be nice.

Another common technique is the Dictionary ploy. It follows the line of “Marriage – I looked marriage up in the dictionary – and guess what I found!’.

Using the dictionary technique I decided to look up Trump. There was little of surprise – it can be noun or verb.

  1. (n) Cards: A card from a suit which outranks other suits
  2. (n) To outdo
  3. (v) To take a suit at cards

Then there was the verb phrase:

The accusations against his political adversaries were little more than trumped up scaremongering.

The addition of the word “up” makes the rather conceited word “trump” into a far more interesting collection of letters.

I visited Thesaurus.com and discovered these:

bogus, concocted, cooked-up, deceitful, devised, dishonest, fabricated, fake, false, falsified, fictitious, fishy, framed, fraudulent, imaginary, incorrect, invalid, invented, lying, made up, misleading, phony, sham, unfounded, unsound, untrue

Such a small addition to a word illustrates how careful we have to be with the things we say. The phrase can become so dangerous – even when constructed of such seemingly innocent words. A word which initially seems strong and righteous suddenly becomes deceitful and mischievous.

Words are also sounds. The word Trump is very close to the word trumpet. As in “blow your own”. The dictionary also defines this. Another section on “trump” states:

  1. (n) a trumpet.
  2. (n) its sound.
  3. (v) to blow a trumpet.

1250-1300; (noun) Middle English trompe < Old French < Old High German trumpa, variant of trumba trumpet; (v.) Middle English trompen < Old French tromper, derivative of trompe

Suddenly “trump” is not only deceitful it is also suggestive of “blowing your own trumpet”. A triumphalist squawk of a noise.

One of the most immediately recognisable and evocative pieces of music played by a member of the Trumpet family is the “Last Post”.

All of this made me consider other words. Unfortunately “Donald” is a proper noun and so I do not like to try and consider meaning and derivations of it. All I associate with Donald are:

  • a Duck
  • “where’s yer troosers”