President Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “rocket man” earlier this week, and now the North Korean dictator has returned fire.
Kim gave Trump a nickname of his own ― and it’s one that sent Americans scrambling for a dictionary.
“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged dotard with fire,” Kim said in a statement released by the North Korean government Thursday.
📈 Kim Jong Un calls Trump a mentally deranged U.S. dotard. Searches for 'dotard' are high as a kite. https://t.co/HztPoLSjXi
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 21, 2017
While the statement was full of choice words for Trump ― calling him “unfit,” “rogue” and “gangster” ― it was the word “dotard,” used twice, that seemed to catch everyone’s attention.
According to Merriam-Webster, a “dotard” is a “person in his or her dotage,” with “dotage” further defined as “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”
Freelance journalist Jihye Lee said the original statement in Korean used a term better translated as “old beast lunatic,” but it became “dotard” in the English version released by North Korea.
The statement caused the word “dotard” to trend on Twitter. Here is some of the reaction: