• Lisette Verri

Covfefe: It's Actually a Real Word and This is What it Means


Ok, the entire country, if not the world, is aware of a late night tweet from President Trump that appears to contain either an embarrassing typo or a cryptic message. Since the progressive left is hellbent on finding conspiracy and scandal in just about every move, facial expression and uttered word Trump makes, the country was ablaze with a search for a possible meaning to that very strange word.

Here is Trump's tweet which was removed a few hours after it was posted:

At first glance it looks as if the president was interrupted and this is obviously an unfinished tweet with an embarrassing typo. People have speculated that the word more than likely is "coverage" of which the president didn't realize was misspelled until the following morning when it was promptly deleted.

Of course, the left took this opportunity to mock Trump for the error. I think we all can agree that while the tweets are obviously a useful communication tool, our president is not as savvy at producing them as we all would like him to be providing the left with mountains of fodder to rip his character and presidential fitness to shreds. The grammar police are having a field day.

If it were another sitting president, the collective nation would chalk it up to presidential fatigue of an obviously overworked leader. But, for Trump, he's held to a different standard. Every person on the planet has posted to social media with typos, even ones that weren't discovered until long after the fact.

And then, in a question and answer session at Codecon on Wednesday, Hillary joked that "covfefe" was a code word for the Russians. And, would we expect anything less from her? She devoted a large portion of her talk to attributing the Russian collusion fantasy, among other things, for her loss in the election. You can read that article here.

To be perfectly honest, at first glance I thought it was a typo just as did most people with common sense and properly firing neurons. But, as the search for a cryptic meaning for the word ensued, one definition that stood out was interesting and actually, plausible. The author of this post is anonymous and if you see this and would like credit for it here, please contact me!

Here is the post, word-for-word:

A few people have asked me about President's Trump's tweet in which he used the word "covfefe." Most people think he meant to write "coverage" and they have had quite a bit of fun with it, but actually it is a real word of Yiddish origin, meaning "a futile search" or "a pointless and false quest." It was originally transliterated from the Hebrew as "kabfefe," whose etymology is "kab"—relating to the mystical Qabalah—and "fefe," which is a word for "butterfly." What Trump was actually saying in Yiddish tweet-speak was, "We are doing great things despite the press's negative and pointless search, aka fake news."

For those who are interested, the idea of "covfefe" comes from an old Yiddish tale about a foolish Sephardi rabbi who believed he was called to find and destroy the mythical and rare butterfly known as Benshariza, or "Lucifer butterfly"—a name that comes from "Helel ben Shahar," meaning "shining star" (see Isaiah 14:12; also see Ephesians 2:2, where Satan is called the "prince of the power of the air"). The rabbi claimed that the Benshariza was recognizable by a unique and disturbing pattern on its huge wings, which looked like the moon and star symbol of the god Ba'al-Hadad. He was convinced that this ominous creature housed "the spirit of Satan" and that if he could destroy it, he would free the world of evil.

His search became an obsession, driving him across Europe to catch countless butterflies, but all he really caught were rounds of derision. His travels took him from Iberia to Bucharest, then up to Moscow, and finally back to Europe again, where he met his doom in the Palatinate (southwestern Germany), in a little town called Cagelenstat.* There he came across a baron who led him to believe that he had the beautiful butterfly in his possession but retorted, "Why, in the name of all things holy, would I hand it over to a little flitting fly-catcher on some stupid kabfefe!" The rabbi, exhausted and frustrated by his long travels, flew into a rage and lunged at the baron, who promptly drove a battle-axe into his skull and ended the meaningless quest. From that point on the word covfefe has been used to laugh at idiots in search of nothing.

*NOTE: It is likely mere coincidence that Cagelenstat is the original name of Kallstadt, Germany, which happens to be the birthplace of Friedrich Drumpf, the grandfather of Donald J. Trump. Friedrich, or Frederick, who became an American citizen in 1896, often advised his children, "Know what you want and follow your dream, but never get distracted by covfefe!"

Of course, our president turned this situation into an interesting exercise, and the actual meaning of the word, if there is any, remains to be revealed. For now, it's up to you to draw your own conclusions.

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