What is a dotard

#Dotard Trend: Kim Jong-us creative insult to Trump baffles the social web

The world is concerned about the tense situation between North Korea and the USA. Quite a few are afraid of a nuclear war. Now the North Korean dictator reported again with a heated and threatening address to the people. However, along with all of the concern, one particular word from the speech in particular leaves a frown on the faces of many Americans: dotard.

What is a "dotard"?

The North Korean leader's verbal attack on the US President has been in the media since it aired. Der Spiegel quotes Kim's striking sentence according to the North Korean state agency KCNA as follows:

I will tame the mentally deranged senile American safely and definitively with fire.

The English translation, according to the Washington Post, reads:

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.

In addition to the extreme physical threats, the dictator's extraordinary rhetoric is striking. Probably an educated Korean translator was at work here, but “Dotard” is very seldom heard in the English-speaking world these days. The Oxford Dictionary defines the term as follows:

An old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.

A social trend is born

Within a very short time, interest in the rarely used term skyrocketed.

After some assumed that this was a word creation from “Donald” and “Retard” (English for example “feeble-minded” or “mentally retarded”), the dictionary taught them better. Sasha Lekach has compiled a few reactions from the social web for Mashable.

Twitter user Tony Posnanski, for example, pleads for the accuracy of the term:

Everyone on Twitter


- Is that a word?

- Wait… is that a real word?

- * looks up word *


- Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) September 22, 2017

Others use the choice of words as an opportunity to make fun of Trump's lack of education:

Kim Jong Un calling Trump a #dotard means he’s used an English dictionary at least one more time than Trump.

- Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) September 21, 2017

Still others expand the definition of the word:

A person that stares at an eclipse without eye protection pic.twitter.com/pIGa6kwrQo

- Feather Friend (@ StarSong777) September 22, 2017

Perhaps the hype is actually due to the imprecise translation. Either way, after “covfefe” - at least on Twitter - a new trend is born at Trump's expense. In this country, too, some users are already jumping on the bandwagon. We are looking forward to the next creative tweets (Twitter search for dotard). After all, with all the horror news from the Pacific region, it's good to be able to smile about something.

Anton Priebe was active at OnlineMarketing.de from 2013 to 2019. As editor-in-chief, the studied German studies and sociologist focused on technology, creative marketing strategies, conversion optimization and SEO.