Lately I’ve reflected on how the 2016 campaign has afforded the opportunity to revive many delightful and rarely-used entries from my Spreadsheet of Unusual Words Found (yes, I actually collect these) to describe the presumed GOP nominee, Donald Trump. Words like despicable. Bloviate. Mendacity. Truculent. Grifter. Unctuous. The man is such an incredible piece of work that I find it difficult to believe there are still a few who profess to not see through the media facade to the bedrock meglomania that motivates his all. Is it because he is a showman? Is it because they’ve seen him on TV?
Today I stumbled upon a word that helps identify the phenomenon of Trump: gnomic. By the way, this gnomic is actually nothing to do with those Harry Potter creatures flung across the garden, although if I could fling Trump I would in a heartbeat, it’s related to the word-root of knowing. Today I also learned that a gnome is also a synonym for aphorism, a meaning I don’t recall encountering in 50+ years of serious reading, so I’ve fallen behind or read too much Tolkien and Martin. So many books, so little time.
1. Relating to a gnome (an aphorism or a pithy saying).
2. Puzzling, ambiguous, or incomprehensible yet seemingly profound.
From Greek gnome (judgment, opinion), from gignoskein (to know). Ultimately from the Indo-European root gno- (to know), which also gave us knowledge, prognosis, ignore, narrate, normal, and gnomon. Earliest documented use: 1815.
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