File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2003/postcolonial.0306, message 37

Subject: The Chambers editorial team recognizes "Bushism" as a new word in the English Language
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 17:10:43 +0000

June 2001 
George Bush Junior's uncertain grasp of the English language has caused almost as much controversy and certainly more mirth than the circumstances in which he was elected as the United States' forty-third President. Indeed, not only have the new President's inventive ways with words spawned a host of websites dedicated to monitoring his linguistic gaffes, but a book bearing the title "Bushisms" has been devoted to the subject. Among the more choice examples of the verbally-challenged President's slip-ups are his assertion during the election campaign that "I think anybody who thinks that I'm not smart enough to handle the job is underestimating"; his professed commitment in the field of foreign policy to keeping "good relations with the Grecians"; his reminder to the American electorate "It's your money. You paid for it"; and - during another moment of insight on the campaign trail, comparing his policies with those of Al Gore - "I don't think we need to be subliminable about the differences between our views on prescription drugs". Another pearl of wisdom alleged to have come from the President's lips took the following form: "a tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness".

The suffix -ism generally designates an ideology or belief system, and as such frequently occurs in combination with the names of political leaders to define the philosophy with which they were associated (as in Thatcherism). In the case of George W. Bush, however, current evidence suggests that his name will be immortalized in the English language in a very different guise. It all goes to show, as one of his election campaigners so nonchalantly pointed out, that "you don't need to be smart to be President"!

The Chambers editorial team would be interested to hear from you if you have comments on any of these new words, or your own suggestions for other new words that may be considered for inclusion in Chambers dictionaries. You can email us at 

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