Donald Trump Insisting “Bigly” Is Actually “Big League” Is Just One Of His Biglyest Myths
The second presidential debate has been full of fallacies, especially on the part of the Republican nominee, whose most innocuous falsehood came in a single "word" that Trump has been known to use in previous debates: bigly. After questioning about whether or not this word actually exists, Donald Trump has insisted that "bigly" is "big league," despite both being words literally no one but the Donald utters on a regular basis. The question that prompted Trump's "big league" answer came from moderator Anderson Cooper, who wanted to know, "what specific tax provisions would you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?"
Trump issued a rambling answer in which he talked in the third person, went after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign ads, then finally mentioned what his tax policy is. Trump said:
I'm lowering taxes, actually, because I think it's so important for corporations because we have corporations leaving — massive corporations and little ones — little ones can’t form. We’re getting rid of regulations which goes hand in hand with the lowering of the taxes. But we're bringing the tax rate down from thirty five percent to fifteen percent. We’re cutting taxes for the middle class, and I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class. And I will tell you Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks.
Trump has been adamant about his usage of "big league," despite audiences consistently hearing "bigly." A search of tweets reveals zero results for the latter but utterance after utterance of the former, dating back to 2012. The Donald wasn't running for president back then, so his tweets reflected his business interests when they weren't hot takes and takedowns filled with offensive language. "Housing prices will be going up big league," Trump said in 2012. He said the same thing about gas prices in 2013, U.S.-Middle Eastern relations in 2014, and Sunday night during the second presidential debate.
My personal favorite "big league" is when he forced the phrase for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Rather than issuing a statement that focused more on the athletes and included inspiring words that people actually use in conversation, Trump instead tweeted a massive photo of himself giving a thumbs up, with the words "big league" bookended by red stars, the words "good luck" the smallest text on the image.
As for "bigly," according to both Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary, it's technically a word. It's fallen out of common usage to the point that, if it weren't for Trump, it'd probably go extinct. Regarding the actual issue at hand of Trump's tax policies, Trump indeed wants to cut income taxes and business taxes and limit deductions for higher earners. Curiously, Trump also wants to eliminate estate taxes altogether. Such a plan would reduce federal revenue considerably, though that's not a talking point that Trump touched upon. It's probably not "big league" enough for Trump to discuss bigly.