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Updated Sep 24, 2017 at 07:07AM EDT by Y F.

Added Sep 22, 2017 at 10:09AM EDT by Matt.

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Dotard is a word that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used to describe United States President Donald Trump in a response to Trump's remarks about Kim Jong Un's leadership. It means a weak, foolish and/or senile elderly person.[1]


According to Etymonline,[1] "dotard" was derived in the late-14th century from the word "dote," meaning feeble-minded from age, and the suffix "-ard," an intensifier use as a pejorative.

Dictionary definition of the word Dotard

On September 19th, 2017, President Trump delivered a speech at the United Nations regarding North Korea, threatening to "totally destroy" the country and referring to Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man."[2]

Two days later, Kim Jong Un responded to Trump's speech on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) News Service, the country's official news agency. In the response (video and full speech below), Kim Jong Un said, "I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech[…]Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say."[3]

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

The speech made by the U.S. president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world's biggest official diplomatic stage.

But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.

A frightened dog barks louder.

I'd like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

His remarks which described the U.S. option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.

Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

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


The word "dotard" quickly started trending online, however, because he was speaking in Korean, Kim Jong Un actually said, "Neukdari," which according to the Associated Press,[4] "It may have simply resorted to a Korean-English dictionary. Putting 'neukdari' into a popular online Korean-English dictionary in South Korea returns two English equivalents: an 'aged (old) person' and a 'dotard.'"

Virtually all news outlets covered Kim Jong Un's response and use of the word "dotard," including NBC,[10] The New York Times,[11] The Los Angeles Times[12] and more.

Journalist Anna Fifield was among the first people to report on the use of the word. That day, she tweeted [6] "Kim Jong Un just released a statement calling Trump a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' who will 'pay dearly' for his U.N. speech[…]The English version of Kim Jong Un's fiery statement calls Trump 'dotard.' The Korean version says '늙다리미치광이' = lunatic old man." The two tweeted (shown below, left) received a combined more than 600 retweets and 500 likes in 16 hours.

She later tweeted[7] the definition of "dotard." The post (shown below, right) received more than 1,600 retweets and 4,100 likes.

Tweet by Anna Fifield about the definition of the word DOTARD Additional tweets by Anna Fifield about the origin and definition of the word Dotard

That day, Redditor [5] porkman384 posted a photo of Trump (shown below) with the subject-line "Dotard. Upvote this image so it shows up when you google 'dotard.'" The post received more than 31,000 points (58% upvoted) and 3,400 comments in 15 hours.

Additionally the /r/the_dotard subreddit, first founded on May 26th, saw a surge in subscribers.[13]

photo of Trump shrugging

Online, people responded to Kim Jong Un's statement by questioning and joking about whether or not "dotard" is a word. Many seemed to believe that Kim Jong Un had coined the term (examples below).

List of word and expressions we have learned from the Trump North Korea showdown DM about what happened with Dotard exactly Anger directed at North Korean leader but praise for giving us the phrase Dotard

That day, Merrian-Webster[8] dictionary reported that "dotard" had "rose dramatically in lookups." On Twitter, they posted "Kim Jong Un calls Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Searches for 'dotard' are high as a kite." The tweet (shown below) received more than 8,300 retweets and 14,800 likes in less than 24 hours.

Tweet by Merrian-Webster dictionary on how much the lookups for Dotard rose after North Korean called the American president that

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