What a Wild Day It's Been for the Word "Covfefe"

2017, everybody.

by Monica Hunter-Hart
Getty Images / Pool

President Donald Trump is known for his unusually candid Twitter presence, but on Wednesday he took it up another notch. In the early morning hours, he tweeted out a typo that had many — far, far too many — people and news outlets actually trying to discern its meaning.

The day that followed was completely wild and showcased internet culture at its most inane. What even happened here?

12:06 a.m. Eastern. “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” Trump writes in a tweet that has since been removed. Obviously he means to write “coverage” and continue the message, but he accidentally sends it before doing so.

2:08 a.m. “Covfefe” search terms, including “covfefe meaning,” and “what is covfefe,” are already heavily trending in Google’s search engine, reaching half the search interest level they’ll achieve over the day.

Late night/early morning. People are making jokes and riffing off “covfefe” into the ether, with many even calling it “Trump’s ‘rosebud’,” in reference to Citizen Kane. “Covfefe” is trending on Twitter with the description “people are wondering what Trump meant,” as though there’s a range of possibilities.

Google Trends search data for "covfefe," where the value of 100 indicates its time of highest popularity.

Google Trends

5:48 a.m. Trump deletes the tweet.

6:09 a.m. Trump either trolls himself in an incredibly rare moment of self-effacing humor or attempts to cover up his blunder in the stupidest way possible:

6:18 a.m. Outlets like the Washington Post report on the events and try their hand at translating “covfefe.” Possibly Norwegian, they say.

11:15 a.m. When asked about the word by the White House press corps, Sean Spicer replies, “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.”

Afternoon. News outlets continue to offer hot takes on the typo, including that it “tells you all you need to know about Donald Trump” and “unites a bewildered nation” and “is so hot right now.” Various online polls gauge public opinion on how to pronounce the term. It even inspires a short story.

4:14 p.m. At Recode’s Code Conference, Hillary Clinton comments on the word, joking, “I thought it was a hidden message to the Russians.” In response to Spicer’s statement, she adds, “You don’t have a high enough classification to know what ‘covfefe’ means.”

Evening. Memes lists are circulating, adding even more fuel to the worthless “covfefe” fire.

…But okay, some of them are really good.

9:30 p.m. Clinton doubles down on the “covfefe” wisecracking and brings it to Twitter:

Wednesday night, if there is justice in this world. Everybody stops talking about “covfefe” and moves on to real issues.

Sure, we all need a breath of fresh air within the ceaseless intensity of politics these days, but do CNN and Fox anchors really need to spend precious minutes trying to figure out how to pronounce a typo?

And now there’s yet another article devoted to its coverage. Damn you, covfefe.

Related Tags