President Trump suggested that he invented the word "fake," or the term "fake news" in an interview on Saturday, prompting a weekend correction from dictionary Merriam-Webster.
"The media is really, the word, one of the greatest of all [the] terms I've come up with, is 'fake,'" Trump told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, CNN reports. "I guess other people have used it, perhaps, over the years, but I've never noticed it. And it's a shame. And they really hurt the country. Because they take away the spirit of the country."
Some have speculated that Trump was using "fake" as shorthand for "fake news," one of his favorite phrases, which he's used several times in interviews, speeches and on Twitter.
In a blog post, Merriam-Webster cited three examples of the phrase "fake news" from three American newspapers in 1890 and 1891.
If Trump was claiming he'd coined the word "fake," he'd be even more wrong. According to Merriam-Webster, the word first appeared in English in the 15th century.
"Fake news" doesn't have its own entry in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and probably won't in the near future.
"The reason 'fake news' is unlikely to be entered in our dictionary anytime soon is that it is a self-explanatory compound noun — a combination of two distinct words, both well known, which when used in combination yield an easily understood meaning," Merriam-Webster explained.