On Sunday night, Donald Trump sent out one of his more bizarre tweets of late, wherein he created another bizarre Trumpian nickname for North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un, in line with other famous nicknames such as "Crooked Hillary" and "Lyin' Ted Cruz." Trump referred to Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man."
I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2017
A couple days later, Trump spoke at the U.N. General Assembly and had some tough words for North Korea. He also took the opportunity—on a global stage—to once again refer to Kim Jong-un, the leader of a dictatorship threatening the entire U.S. population with nuclear weapons, as "Rocket Man." There is hardly time to go into just how bizarre the entire situation is, though, because Kim Jong-un had quite the response to Trump’s nickname.
In a translated statement released on Thursday, Kim Jong-un called Trump a "mentally deranged dotard" who is "unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country." The entire statement was scathing, but most people immediately got caught up with Kim Jong-un's use of the unusual word "dotard" and wondered what in the world it meant. Twitter was ablaze with people trying to figure it out.
The first action most people took was to run to the dictionary. Everyone’s favorite dictionary Twitter account, @MerriamWebster, was right there to help.
📈 Kim Jong Un calls Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Searches for 'dotard' are high as a kite. https://t.co/HztPoLSjXi— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 21, 2017
Some with bilingual skills were also on hand to help provide more context.
The Korean original statement said "늙다리 미치광이," which means old beast lunatic -- which was translated into "dotard." https://t.co/2uQ0Xsxe2X— Jihye Lee 이지혜 (@TheJihyeLee) September 21, 2017
But the majority of people tweeting about the word were there to make fun of the situation. After all, many found themselves in a strange and surprising predicament: agreeing with Kim Jon-un’s words. Well, to be specific, people resonated with just one word in particular.
Looks up definition of "dotard." pic.twitter.com/kyf5j6J1DB— Cameron Ridle (@CameronRidle) September 21, 2017
Mentally deranged US dotard? That's pretty good actually. I'd definitely rather be referred to as Rocket Man. This round to Kim Jong-un. https://t.co/vgZcmcGDKJ— Mark Congiusta (@interactivemark) September 21, 2017
Damn. "Mentally Deranged U.S. Dotard" was going to be the name of my dad band, a kind of funk/math rock thing, and now I've gotta change it.— John Schwartz (@jswatz) September 21, 2017
'Dotard' is a good one to pull out of the bag. Wish I learnt it doing a crossword instead of through being on the precipice of nuclear war.— edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 21, 2017
Who gets to read Trump the definition of "dotard"— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) September 21, 2017
Trump eventually responded to Kim Jong-un's statement with a tweet of his own:
But once people realized how similar the word "dotard" is to Trump’s first name, #DotardTrump started trending on Twitter, and there was officially no turning back.
When #DotardTrump supporters are more upset at the hashtag than the actual potential of nuclear war he's put the country in!— Kemo Sabe (@kiva85) September 22, 2017