President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he coined the expression “prime the pump,” a commonly used expression in economics with origins in the 19th century.
“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it,” Trump told The Economist. “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.”
The Twitter account for the Merriam-Webster dictionary quickly corrected the president.
'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
And many other social media users heaped scorn on the president’s bizarre claim.
— Robert McNees (@mcnees) May 11, 2017
@jaketapper Pretty sure it goes back to the folks who invented the pump. What with the need to prime them and all.
— Keith D (@Benstar7J6P) May 11, 2017
@JoeNBC SERIOUSLY??????? As someone who grew up on the farm I learned how to Prime the pump 55 years ago
— Cindy L Arnevik (@cabbageridge) May 11, 2017
He is not well. https://t.co/Dp6et26wBc
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) May 11, 2017
— Janet Fisher (@jfisherj) May 11, 2017
Once made a Wikipedia page saying I popularized sweater-vests, so I get Trump's claim that he came up with the phrase "prime the pump."
— Tim Duffy™ (@TimDuffy) 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
Prime the pump? What's next, claiming he invented the question mark, or accusing chestnuts of being lazy?
— Tom Swanson (@Swansontea) May 11, 2017
Trump thinks he invented the term "prime the pump".
Putin may have invented term "prime the chump" tho.
— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) May 11, 2017
hey, he came up with it when he was hanging out with andrew jackson and frederick douglass last week, don't hate. https://t.co/LdtRDVAqKb
— the gumboot gumshoe (@raven_feathers) May 11, 2017
Not only did Trump not just come up with the age-old term “prime the pump” a couple days ago as he claims—he's used it before in interviews. https://t.co/BFfpA2EaZk
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 11, 2017
— Stefan Becket (@becket) May 11, 2017