Cold water on Trump’s claim he coined the phrase ‘prime the pump’
In an interview with The Economist, US President Donald Trump said he created the economics phrase ‘prime the pump’ when he used it during talks on his plans to lower taxes even if it increased government deficits.
“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.”
However, the phrase ‘priming the pump’ is a common term refers to countries using government tax and spending to boost their economy.
Its origins are to do with how water is sourced from wells: water would traditionally be poured into a pump to begin the process of extracting water from the well.
It became a metaphor in the 1930s when US President Franklin Roosevelt pumped money into the economy in an attempt to counteract the Great Depression.
Trump’s claim drew the attention of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, who posted their definition of the word, as well as others on social media.
‘Pump priming’ has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933. https://t.co/VfkGwwzZRC
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 11, 2017
hello @realDonaldTrump do you like twitter i invented it #primethepump
— David Waldman (@KagroX) May 11, 2017
From what I hear, trump coined the phrase “prime the pump” over dinner with Frederick Douglass just before the Bowling Green massacre.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) May 11, 2017
@kurteichenwald For the record, trump said “pay the pimp”, but the fake news is reporting ‘prime the pump’.
— Zac Garripoli (@zacapoet) May 11, 2017
Trump tells Economist that last week he invented phrase “prime the pump” https://t.co/4pKYYN55W2
I just invented phrase “God save us all” pic.twitter.com/5IRdUAKIdU
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) May 11, 2017
I’m waiting for Trump to invent the phrase “I’m outta here.” #PrimeThePump #TrumpPrimeThePump
— Rick Horowitz (@Rick_Horowitz) May 11, 2017
Trump just coined the term “prime the pump” and I just coined the term “coined the term” today!
— John Smith Chicago (@JohnSmithChgo) May 11, 2017