Part of a series on Donald Trump. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 07, 2017 at 04:31AM EST by Y F.

Added Oct 19, 2016 at 11:21PM EDT by Brad.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


Bigly is an archaic English adverb that means "in a big manner," which became a word of interest due to its frequent use by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential primaries and debates.


The word "bigly" has been recognized as one of Donald Trump's many favorite buzzwords, or "Trumpism" as they became known to be, since the beginning of his presidential campaign in June 2015. During his presidential announcement speech, Trump was quoted as saying "Obamacare kicks in in 2016 really bigly." On July 4th, 2015 YouTuber John Doe submitted a video featuring Trump's quote and a text-to-speech reading of the text.


On September 24th, 2015, Slate[1] published an article titled "Is Donald Trump’s Favorite Term Bigly or Big League? You Make the Call," along with a supercut video of Trump using the word "big league" during his stump speeches at campaign rallies (shown below), which reported on the contested nature of the-then Republican presidential hopeful's pronunciation of "bigly." In the following months, several political news sites, journalists and commentators began using the word in headlines and articles relating to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.[2][3][4]

On February 1st, 2016, Oxford Dictionaries[5] ran an article chronicling a number of words that Trump has been known to mispronounce or struggle with during speeches at campaign rallies, including his ambiguous pronunciation of the word "bigly," which has been speculated by his detractors as an unintended mispronunciation of "big league," another term that has been long favored by Trump.

GOP Primary Debate

On February 25th, 2016, Trump's use of "bigly" during the Republican presidential primary debate in Houston, Texas spawned a sideline discussion about the word on social media platforms. At 10:14 p.m. (EST), as the debate continued, Merriam-Webster Dictionary[10] tweeted a definition of the adverb "bigly," confirming that the word is listed in the standard English dictionaries.

BIGLY in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary as an adverb

Indiana Victory Speech

On May 3rd, 2016, Trump gave a speech in South Bend, Indiana shortly after his landslide victory in the state primary and rival candidate Ted Cruz' announcement of suspending his campaign. Towards the end of the speech, Trump was quoted as saying:

“We’re not going to lose, we are going to start winning again and we’re going to win bigly.”

In the following days, Trump's Indiana victory speech went viral and prompted a handful of jokes poking fun at the presidential candidate's limited range of vocabulary, including a comedy sketch on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (shown below).

Presidential Debates

In October 2016, the online interest in Donald Trump's "bigly" obsession soared throughout the course of the three presidential debates, beginning with the first round hosted by NBC at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and reaching its peak while discussing his stance on immigration during the third and last debate hosted by Fox News at University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Trump: But under Obama, millions of people have been moved out of this country. They've been deported. She doesn't want to say that, but that's what has happened and that’s what happened – big league. As far as moving these people out and moving, we either have a country or we don't. We're a country of laws. We either have a border or we don't. Now, you can come back in and you can become a citizen. But it’s very unfair. We have millions of people that did it the right way. They're on line. They're waiting. We're going to speed up the process bigly, because it’s very inefficient.

As the debate heated up, Twitter became inundated with viewers' reaction to Trump's use of the word "bigly," instantly soaring into the trending topics chart on the platform. On Facebook, Susan Lin, assistant professor at University of California, Berkeley, posted a phonetic analysis chart of Trump saying the word to the Friends of Berkeley Linguistics page on Facebook, with a caption implying that Trump is actually saying "big league."

Meme of Hillary Clinton as Math Lady trying to figure out what BIGLY is and how much it quantifies

According to Google Trends, "bigly" was the third most searched term relating to Trump's responses during the debate.

Is Bigly A Word as one of the most searched terms relating to Trump's responses in the debate

The sideline conversation was quickly picked up by dozens of major news sites, including The Telegraph[16], Washington Post[17], USA Today,[18] CBS News,[19] The Independent,[20] The Hollywood Reporter,[21] NPR[22] and The New York Times.[23]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Slate – Is Donald Trump’s Favorite Term Bigly or Big League? You Make the Call

[2] New Yorker – Examining the Vocabulary of the Presidential Race

[3] Berkshire Eagle – Trump's grammar issues more 'bigly' than judgment

[4] Slate – Donald Trump Just Helped Ted Cruz Bigly

[5] Oxford Dictionaries – Political profanity and crude creativity on the US Election campaign trail

[6] The Independent – Donald Trump 'win bigly' victory speech widely mocked on Twitter

[7] Bloomberg – Bigly vs. Big League: What Is Donald Trump Saying?

[8] Mediate – No, Donald Trump Did Not Say ‘Bigly’ During His Victory Speech

[9] Romper – Is "Bigly" A Word? Trump May Have Been Misheard During The Debate

[10] Twitter – Merriam-Webster's Tweet

[11] Google Trends – ‪‪Presidential Debate 3: Oct. 19, 2016‬‬

[12] Twitter – Hashtag Results for #BIGLY

[13] Twitter –'s Tweet

[14] Facebook – Susan Lin's Post

[15] Romper – What Does "Bigly" Mean? Trump Has Confused Everyone

[16] The Telegraph – Is Donald Trump saying 'bigly' or 'big league'?

[17] The Washington Post – America wants to know: Is it ‘bigly’ or ‘big league’?

[18] USA Today – Trump lingo 101: Is he saying 'bigly' or 'big league'?

[19] CBS News – Everyone keeps Googling the word "bigly" after presidential debate

[20] The Independent – Is bigly a word? Donald Trump confounds debate viewers with unusual term

[21] The Hollywood Reporter – Donald Trump Is Saying 'Big League,' Not 'Bigly'

[22] NPR – So, Which Is It: Bigly Or Big-League? Linguists Take On A Common Trumpism

[23] The New York Times – Yes, Trump Really Is Saying ‘Big League,’ Not ‘Bigly,’ Linguists Say

Recent Videos

There are no videos currently available.

Recent Images 10 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (24)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hello! You must login or signup first!