"Bigly" or "big league"? This is what Donald Trump is actually saying.

"Bigly" or "big league"? This is what Donald Trump is actually saying.
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Donald Trump is terminally misunderstood, according to Donald Trump. He claims he never supported the war in Iraq, never said the Chinese invented global warming and never manhandled anyone, despite what reporters, dozens of women and the record reflect.

And then there's the issue of "bigly." Every debate, Trump's detractors claim he regularly uses the adjective "bigly." It's the subject of jokers, insults and even political cartoons.

But is he saying "bigly"? Or is he just struggling to articulate the words "big league"?

Twitterites and the punditry seem unable to agree. Bigly is, in fact, a word. It means "with great force or violently or strongly," according to lexicographer Kory Stamper, who says that if it's what Trump means to say, he's using it incorrectly.

But it's not what Trump is saying. The phoneticians in the linguistics community for the University of California, Berkeley, used audio analysis to determine, scientifically, that Donald Trump is, in fact, saying "big league."

We wouldn't know for sure except for the words from one of Trump's surrogates himself. Luckily, the campaign weighed in on this a long time ago.

"It's big league," campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Slate in 2015.

That settles it.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jack Smith IV

Jack Smith IV is a senior writer covering technology and inequality. Send tips, comments and feedback to jack@mic.com.

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