Is "Covfefe" A Word? No, But Thanks To These Tweets, It Is Now

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Like many confused Americans (and, I’m presuming, global citizens), I woke up this morning, booted up my computer, looked at the internets, and immediately thought, “…Is ‘covfefe’ a word?” This is not a mystery I anticipated ever pondering; then again, a Trump presidency is not a mystery I anticipated ever pondering, either, and, well, here we are. It was unsurprising, therefore, when I discovered that the “covfefe” mystery and Donald Trump were all tied up together in one baffling, linguistic package; of course the source of the strange and unusual arrangement of letters was Trump himself. Why wouldn’t it be?

It all began shortly after midnight on May 31. (Again, unsurprising; many Twitter-related Trump debacles happen late at night or in the wee hours of the morning.) At 12:06 a.m. ET, the following tweet emerged, pushing its way out of Trump’s Twitter account and into the deep, dark world:

Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”

The tweet has since been deleted — replaced by something perhaps even stranger (more on that in a moment) — but not before a substantial number of intrepid Twitter users took screenshots for posterity. Indeed, the Tweeple of the universe had ample time to take as many screenshots as they wished; the tweet remained live until roughly 6 a.m., according to The Guardian — which, as we all know, is an eternity in internet time. Here is one such screenshot, which I include so that you, too, may witness the tweet in action, Gentle Readers:

Words fail me.

They failed Merriam-Webster, too — which, considering how on point the dictionary’s Twitter account has been throughout the course of Trump’s presidency, is quite impressive:

Which, it occurs to me, is precisely the point, is it not? Perhaps that’s the meaning of “covfefe” — it is the exact moment at which, in the face of something truly baffling, words fail, leaving one grasping at proverbial straws in a possibly futile effort to make sense of the nonsensical. I believe that would make “covfefe” a noun.

Of course, though, I am far from the only person who, in the absence of an existing definition (because, again, “covfefe” is not in fact a word), has attempted to bring order to the chaos. What’s more, we are not doing it at the behest of Trump’s replacement tweet, which encourages readers to “figure out the true meaning of ‘covfefe’”:

We are doing it because nothing else makes sense anymore. This is one small way we can try to exert control over what so frequently seems out of control — so you’d better believe we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.

Here are a few possible definitions of “covfefe,” according to the good people of the internet:

1. Dale Cooper's Favorite Drink

Jacob Oller on Twitter

2. Insurance

gastt on Twitter

3. The "It" Factor

Nana Manika on Twitter

5. Bill Murray's Secret

Jordan VanDina on Twitter

6. Salt Bae's Second Favorite Seasoning

Charles M. Blow on Twitter

7. The World's Greatest Moisturizer

Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi on Twitter

8. A Rejected Beatles Song Lyric

waitwait on Twitter

9. A Rare Patronus

John King on Twitter

10. An Alternate Energy Source

Riker Googling on Twitter

11. Where I Wish I Was Living

♻️ Christopher Zullo on Twitter

12. The Standard Greeting At A Red Wedding

Elergumena on Twitter

16. And Also This:

Jennifer Bendery on Twitter

17. And, Uh, This:

Aaron Linde on Twitter

18. A Little-Known Character In 'Les Miserables'

Stuart Ellis on Twitter

20. Pretty Much Whatever You Want It To Mean

Forest Spirit on Twitter

Yes, "covfefe" is a distraction. Yes, there are a lot of things we need to be paying attention to — like, for example, the fact that Trump is expected to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord in the very near future. But sometimes... you just need to covfefe.