Wish You Could Articulate How You Feel About Trump’s Administration?
There’s a word for that.
“The Endangered English Dictionary”?—?a 1997 tome by author David Grambs that attempts to save old words from going extinct?—?contains a number of amusing but rather antiquated terms. For example:
Num·quid: (n.) An inquisitive person.
Sar·doo·dle·dum: (n.) A drama that is contrived or unrealistic.
But the book contains one word in particular that is fast working its way back into the contemporary vernacular:
Ka·kis·to·cracy: (n.) A government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.
Punch “kakistocracy” into Google Trends and Google Trends spits out this chart:
Note the uptick immediately following the election.
The word can be traced back to a novel published in England in 1829, The Misfortunes of Elphin, by the English writer Thomas Love Peacock. Peacock took the French word cracie (meaning: a type of government) and the Greek word kakistos (meaning: worst) to make “kakistocracy,” which?—?to quote our friends Merriam and Webster?—?means a “government of the worst people.”
Regardless of your opinion of our new president, or of the rag-tag band of appointees that will comprise his cabinet, “kakistocracy” is not a term any leader wants applied to their tenure?—?and they especially don’t want it to stick early on.
Thankfully, there are 169 existing variants on “something-ocracy,” according to Phrontistery, a list of rare English words compiled by an anthropologist at Wayne State University in Michigan.
So, President Trump, if you’re reading this, I’ve taken the liberty of selecting some of the most descriptive English words describing types of government from the Phrontistery archive. Here’s the list if you want to choose one to describe your new administration
Fool·oc·racy: (n.) Government by fools.
Land·oc·racy: (n.) Government by the propertied class.
Mill·ion·oc·racy: (n.) Government by millionaires (billionocracy would be more accurate, but unfortunately it’s not a real word).
Ne·oc·racy: (n.) Government by new or inexperienced rulers.
Plu·toc·racy (also: plu·tar·chy): (n.) Government by the wealthy.
Bar·bar·oc·racy: (n.) Government by barbarians.
Take your pick, Donald. Otherwise, we may just stick with “kakistocracy.”