Summary of eRumor:
A tweet from President Trump’s personal Twitter account included the word “covfefe,” leading to questions about the definition of “covfefe.”
There are lots of theories about the definition of “covfefe,” and about why President Trump used the word in a tweet, but all of those theories are unproven at this point.
President Trump mystified his millions of Twitter followers on May 31, 2017, when he abruptly ended a tweet about negative press coverage with the word “covfefe” and declined to provide further explanation or corrections:
The most obvious answer is that President Trump meant to tweet “Despite the constant negative press coverage…” but misspelled “coverage” and mistakenly posted the tweet to his timeline before finishing his thought. But the typo explanation didn’t seem to stick, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer added to the confusion when asked about the meaning of covfefe during a press briefing: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”
The result was a half-serious effort by internet commenters to define covfefe. President Trump seemingly encouraged the light-hearted banter with a tweet encouraging people to find the world’s meaning:
Again, there’s no clear-cut definition for “covfefe,” and it’s not clear what the president’s intent (if he had any) was in including the word in a tweet. But we’ll look at a few of the most popular theories out there.
One of the first theories about the meaning of covfefe is one of the easiest to debunk. The word “covfefe” doesn’t appear to have any meaning in the Russian language (according to Google Translate, at least). And the Russian translation of “I resign” and “I quit” doesn’t resemble “covfefe” at all:
Covfefe is the Name of a Demon
Also one of the earliest explanations for the definition of “covfefe” was that it referred to a mythical demon that apparently grows stronger each time it’s name is spoken or written. That theory was advanced most notably by The Welcome Collection, a London-based museum of curiosities.
It appears, however, that The Welcome Collection may have been joking. The demon depicted in the image above, which dates back to the 1770s, is actually called “Wamidal.” We couldn’t find any reference in demonology to a demon named “confefe,” so this theory is yet another dead end.
In the end, it seems most likely that President Trump’s “covfefe” tweet was the result of a simple typo. There’s no clear-cut explanation for what the word means, but it’s fairly easy to shoot-down the many theories about the meaning of covfefe like the two above. That’s why we’re calling all things related to covfefe “unproven.”
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