More covfefe

« previous post | next post »

The covfefe fun continues.

My personal favorite is the covfefe recipe:

And then there's  Riane Konc, "Covfefe…For Her", The New Yorker 6/1/2017:

Covfefe is for the flat-earthers. For the woman who doesn’t just believe what she’s told. We salute you, freethinker. We see you on the basketball court, trying to dribble a Frisbee. You’re a Covfefe woman.

There's a tweet from Hillary Clinton, in response to another insult from Donald Trump:

And a tweet from Senator Ben Sasse:

A Google Translate mistake has been widely discussed (and debunked):

For some reason, alternatives such "Will not be able to do this", "Will be fed", etc., have been largely ignored.

Google Translate's weird diagnosis of "covfefe" as Samoan is definitely debunked — Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, "The Meaning Of The Word 'Covfefe' In The Samoan Language", Huffpost 5/31/2017 — starting with the observation that the letter 'c' is not used in writing Samoan, and that consonant-final syllables like 'cov' are systematically excluded.

In other responses by linguists, Taylor Jones tried a big pile of linear algebra — "I all Trump's tweets through a neural net to try and figure out the meaning of covfefe. Here is what I learned", Language Jones 6/1/2017 — and Richard Janda tried philology — "The Coventry, Play! Mystery", ms. 6/1/2017.


  1. Coby Lubliner said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 10:51 am

    Is it spoiling the fun to suggest that it's simply a mistyping of "coverage"?

    [(myl) No, but you risk spoiling your reputation for interpersonal sensitivity, since everyone involved has understood this point since the beginning.]

  2. rpsms said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 11:07 am


    "Yes!" How dare you?

    In the 70s I once diagrammed and wrote an essay on Carlin's seven dirty words you cannot say on television. While arresting me for indecency, all the cops agreed that my analysis enhanced the bit.

  3. Robert M. said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

    @coby, until I read the actual tweet I wasn't sure myself–my Facebook feed was blowing up with jokes and articles about it before I could actually see the source. This lolphonology comic post (an OT analysis, albeit one without a UR) was actually what made me realize what he likely meant:

  4. J.W. Brewer said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

    I must say that "covfefe" seems ex ante no less likely to be a cromulent word than "gifblaar," which totally looks like a late-night tweeting error but, I am reliably informed (having missed it during a half-century of previous increasingly-obscure vocabulary acquisition), is a real word that was spelled correctly yesterday by 12 year old Ananya Vinay of Fresno as her penultimate success en route to the national Spelling Bee championship.

  5. stephen said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

    illuminati to understand the word it's the illiterate so

  6. stephen said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 2:23 pm

    Sorry, could you please delete the previous one?
    This is what I meant to say:

    it's not the Illuminati who understand the word.
    It's the Illiterati.

  7. mg said,

    June 2, 2017 @ 2:26 pm

    @JW – but you have to water the gifblaar with covfefe for it to thrive.

  8. Language links 6/5: linkfefe and swearing on the campaign trail | Everyday linguistic anthropology said,

    June 5, 2017 @ 6:01 am

    […] 2, 3). Sarah Shulist wrote a nice analysis of why it's interesting. And Language Log has a nice summary of covfefe posts, […]

RSS feed for comments on this post