can we call trump’s tweeted temper tantrums “tweetrums”?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 min­utes.

RESPONDING TO A QUESTION on Quora, I used my an­swer as the basis for a short ar­ticle that I ti­tled, “Con­ser­v­a­tives Not Ex­actly En­thralled by Trump Are a Problem.” I was ad­dressing what I as­sumed was a con­ser­v­a­tive in­di­vidual who posted that some con­ser­v­a­tives “aren’t ex­actly en­thralled” with Trumps’ presidency.

The point of my piece was to take the ques­tioner to task for so timid a re­sponse to Trump. I wrote:

We have watched him run amok for two years as the pres­i­dent, throwing what ap­pear to be temper tantrums via tweets (“tweet­rums”?) on a daily basis. We have read these tweets, which are often as gram­mat­i­cally chal­lenged as they are fac­tu­ally chal­lenged.” (NU)

Mo­ments after pub­lishing my ar­ticle, a friend con­tacted me and asked if I had coined the term tweet­rums, which I didn’t know.

Per­haps I had.


JohnnyDepp CryBaby drawing 1000

In the 1990 movie Cry Baby, Johnny Depp plays a young greaser—who acts a lot like Elvis in his first movies in the’50s—who can shed a tear on cue and melt the hearts of women of all ages. It’s a movie by John Wa­ters, so it’s not your normal Johnny Depp movie. (Like there’s any such thing, right?) The drawing above is by Lots of Lowe for the De­viant Art website. 

Someone behaving like a child

So I am writing this piece about my pos­sibly coining a new word that is so os very ap­plic­able to what’s hap­pening every day on the In­ternet and there­fore on the news.

My un­of­fi­cial de­f­i­n­i­tion and ex­pla­na­tion of tweet­rums: the word is made by joining two other words: tweet and tantrum.


Posting on the so­cial media web­site Twitter. It is both a verb (for ex­ample, “Pres­i­dent Trump tweets reg­u­larly, some might say ob­ses­sively”) and a noun (“Pres­i­dent Trump’s latest tweet again ac­cused Mueller of a witch hunt”).


An un­con­trolled ex­pres­sion of childish anger; an angry out­burst by a child or by someone who is be­having like a child. (Merriam-Webster).

The Pres­i­dent tweets regularly—some might say obsessively—while mil­lions of people around the world think of childish temper tantrums when they read the Pres­i­dent’s tweets.

Hence, tweet­rums: “tweeting like a petu­lant child throwing a temper tantrum.”

Right now, the word tweetrum is al­most ex­clu­sively as­so­ci­ated with the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States. Should someone else wish to em­u­late the Pres­i­dent, their mes­sages might better be called tweet­rumps.

Re­member you read it here first!


Trump BabyBlimp 1000

“Our prime min­ister has in­vited Trump to the UK on 13 July, when he will prob­ably gloat and smirk over our Brexit mis­for­tune, and hope to bully us into sub­ju­ga­tion. To do jus­tice to the enor­mity of the oc­ca­sion, a group of ac­tivist friends and I have had a six-meter-high blimp made of Trump as a giant or­ange baby, with a mo­bile phone clutched in his tiny hands. Trump Baby is the kind of protest that would be im­pos­sible to ig­nore during the pres­i­den­tial visit.” (Guardian)

Alas, trumped again

I wrote the text above without re­searching the word tweet­rums. When I did look it up on Google and if I found no other ref­er­ence to it, I wanted my ar­ticle to be ready to launch this post im­me­di­ately be­fore anyone could see my having looked the word up and beat me to the punch. So when this piece was fin­ished, I googled tweet­rums

Alas, trumped again: I found ev­i­dence that others had trumped my coinage of the word on the first page of Google. The ear­liest use of the word in ref­er­ence to Trump’s out­bursts ap­pears to have been by David von Drehle in an ar­ticle about Mueller for Time mag­a­zine from June 2017 (“Trump’s fu­ture tweet­rums”).

I found it used even ear­lier in a piece on base­ball from 2013 on the Marlin Ma­niac web­site (“post-season fire sale temper tweetrum”).

So, no need to re­member any­thing, as you didn’t read it here first.


Trump CryBaby DonkeyHotey 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is by car­i­ca­turist Don­key­Hotey and ac­com­pa­nied the ar­ticle “For the Fourth Time Today Trump Again Posts Ju­ve­nile Cry­baby Tweets” by David Badash for the New Civil Rights Move­ment web­site. After taking the Pres­i­dent to task for what could be hy­per­bole, Badash notes that “in the middle of what should be for the leader of the free world a busy Thursday af­ter­noon workday, Trump has posted yet an­other angry, ju­ve­nile tweet, this time com­plete with typos.”

Post­script: If I had a photo of me as a child, I might have used in­stead of the Johnny Depp drawing. I was high-strung, highly emo­tional, and cried when­ever I was frus­trated or angry. Con­se­quently, I was known as a cry-baby. That cer­tainly didn’t do my self-esteem any good!

By the time I had ma­tured, my crying was re­served for scenes in movies where wolves are shot for sport by drunken US Cav­alry troops—and you don’t get a prize if you know what movie I’m re­fer­ring to—and chick-flicks.

Let me tell you some­thing, you take a woman on a first date to a chick-flick and she’ll think you’re amazing. Cry during all the right scenes and you’re in like Coburn. (Yeah, that’s an­other movie ref­er­ence . . .)




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