This week’s Bloomberg Businessweek published a long and rather unflattering article on Donald Trump, his life, wealth, and potential for US presidential candidacy. Don’t stop reading here! I have no interest in discussing Mr. Trump except to enlighten you as to my inspiration for this week’s Jargon Genesis. Because in addition to being the last name of a sliver-blonde, thrice-married, combed-over rich guy, the word trump has an interesting and undecided etymology.
Here’s a contextual example. “We hope that in the minds of our consumers, our marketing efforts will trump the bad press about the MSG in our soups.”
Here trump is defined as giving one an advantage, similar to the use of trump during a card game. Speaking of card games, one possible origin of the word trump is a simple mutation of an old card game called “Triumph,” predating the 17th century, which utilized the concept of trump as one of the key strategic elements. (more…)