Decoding the Language of Trump Supporters

March 25th 2016

"Nimble navigators" and "centipedes" sound like characters out of a Dr. Seuss book, but they're actually part of the lexicon that Donald Trump supporters have created to describe themselves. Trump supporters have a language all their own — and it's surprisingly silly. Reddit, 4chan, and YouTube are home to some of the most vocal Trump fans and where their slang originated, inspired by Trump's own words.

Reddit in particular can be credited with the rise of such Trump talk, thanks to the Donald Trump community known as "The_Donald," which boasts 78,598 "centipedes." They range in ages from 15 to 45, and are mostly male. A quick visit to their sub shows "tremendous" enthusiasm for their chosen candidate.

But what are they talking about when they label something as "high energy" in a comment? What does it mean when they suggest someone "take a coat" and what are "centipedes" exactly?

Nimble Navigator/Centipede


Trump supporters refer to themselves as "nimble navigators" thanks to the above YouTube video, "You Can't Stump the Trump (Volume 4)," posted by Can't Stump the Trump (not affiliated with Trump's official campaign) in October 2015. If you haven't seen the bizarre video mashup yet, it uses audio of what sounds like a nature film about centipedes juxtaposed with video of Trump at a debate, and has more than 800,000 views. "Despite its impressive length, it's a nimble navigator," the voice behind the video says. "And some can be highly venomous. Just like the tarantula it's killing, the centipede has two curved hollow fangs, which inject paralyzing venom. The centipede is a predator." The intent of the video, it seems, is to equate Trump with one of nature's most nimble and deadly predators.
This is also why Trump supporters will call each other "centipedes" and proclaim other candidates to be "stumped!" when they lose to Trump. The phrases really picked up steam when Trump retweeted the video, along with a meme that delighted 4chan users. It was kind of like an internet inside joke come to life.
Can't Stump The Trump video comment


ORIGIN: Donald Trump at a rally

You may find Trump supporters making comments like "take a coat" or "give this man a coat!" and it has nothing to do with fashion or cold weather. In January 2016, at a Trump rally in Burlington, Vermont, Trump was briefly interrupted during a speech by protestors. His response was to basically shrug them off and tell his security to, "throw them out. Throw them out in the cold... don't give them their coat." Trump, insistent on keeping their outerwear, continued: "No coats. Confiscate their coats." Nimble Navigators all over the web have embraced this moment and refer to 'taking a coat' as a sort of reward. For example, if one were to say "I've switched my support from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump," the response would be, "give this man a coat."

Not wanting to miss a pun opportunity, Reddit's Donald Trump community has raised over $15,000 for Operation Warm, an organization that provides coats for families in need.

High Energy/Low Energy

ORIGIN: Donald Trump

In August 2015, Donald Trump first referred to then-rival Jeb Bush as a "low-energy person," Business Insider reports. The Donald became quite fond of the phrase, using "low energy" to describe Bush at every opportunity and every possible way. At a rally in Alabama, the low energy train really started to pick up speed:

"Let's assume that somebody else becomes president. Wouldn't that be horrible? Wouldn't that be horrible? So let's assume that somebody else becomes president. Let's assume a very low-energy — very, very low energy, so low energy that every time you watch him, you fall asleep [...] Let's say Jeb becomes president. Not good. Not good."

Supporters became enamored with the phrase, and began using it to describe people, places, and things they dislike as being "low energy" or having "low energy." If, however, they find something to be particularly agreeable, they will describe it as being "high energy" or having "high energy." You will find many posts and comments in r/the_donald that praise the "high energy" of OP (person who originally posted).

If they are particularly excited, they might exclaim "DONALD TAKE MY ENERGY" and add a few of these: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ


ORIGIN: Urban Dictionary

"Cuck" is not a Trump supporter original. Short for "cuckold," "cuck" has been used since approximately 2007, according to Urban Dictionary. However, when Trump fans use the word, they're not using it in a literal sense, meaning, a description of a man whose wife is cheating on him. They use cuck to describe people they don't like or agree with, specifically, Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Jeb Bush, filmmaker Michael Moore, and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are also "cucks."


ORIGIN: Trump again

Trump loves to proclaim that something or someone is "sad." And like the man he used to mock (Jeb!), Trump loves a good exclamation point.

"Sad!" works as a synonym for "pathetic", and not as a description of actual tragedy. Donald Trump is fond of labeling people he does not agree with as being "sad!"

Affection for this term has spread beyond Trump diehards, and made its way into the vocabulary of the political pundit class, as well.

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