Covfefe[pronunciation?] was a viral tweet of U.S. President Donald Trump and the resulting internet meme. Shortly after midnight (EDT) on May 31, 2017, Trump tweeted "Despite the constant negative press covfefe", and stopped. The tweet, containing an apparent mistyping of the word "coverage", was deleted several hours later. However the White House press secretary Sean Spicer and President Trump himself implied later that day that the tweet's wording was intentional. The tweet garnered intense attention in the news and social media, quickly becoming a viral phenomenon. Subsequently, the word "covfefe" came to be associated with gaffes and social media mistakes by Donald Trump and other public figures. The tweet and the word "covfefe" produced a variety of other cultural, economic, and societal influences. In particular, the Volfefe index (for "volatility" and "covfefe"), created by JPMorgan Chase in 2019, measures the impact of President Trump's tweets on the U.S. bond yields.
Writing for The Atlantic in January 2019, journalist Adrienne LaFrance summarized the significance of the covfefe tweet thus: "Covfefe remains the tweet that best illustrates Trump's most preternatural gift: He knows how to captivate people, how to command and divert the attention of the masses."
The covfefe tweet
At 12:06 a.m. Eastern time on May 31, 2017, Trump tweeted, "Despite the constant negative press covfefe"; the tweet stopped after that. "Covfefe" was an apparent mistyping of the word "coverage". Trump deleted the tweet about six hours later.
The covfefe tweet quickly went viral and generated much joking and speculation in social media and the news about the meaning of "covfefe". By the morning of May 31, the covfefe tweet was retweeted more than 105,000 times, garnered more than 148,000 likes, and a viral internet #covfefe meme was born. Within 24 hours of Trump's tweet, the hashtag #covfefe had been used on the internet 1.4 million times.
Trump did not acknowledge that the tweet contained a mistyping. Instead, after deleting the original tweet, Trump tweeted again at 6:09 am: "Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!" Later that day the White House press secretary Sean Spicer implied that the tweet wasn't a typo but was intentional: "I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."
For May 31, the Google search term 'covfefe' surpassed the search term 'paris climate' (in reference to the 2015 Paris Climate agreement); on the same day Trump indicated that the U.S. may withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
In May 2018 President Trump lifted some of the mystery surrounding covfefe by pronouncing the word in a White House video, where he says "All I hear is 'covfefe'."
Philip Bump, an analyst for The Washington Post, wrote in July 2019 that the covfefe tweet episode was representative of President Trump's refusal to admit minor misstatements. Other Trump critics in the media have expressed similar opinions.
The covfefe meme produced a variety of follow-up effects in culture, language and business. In May 2018, while marking the one-year anniversary of the covfefe tweet, a USA Today article noted: "But did the president know what he had wrought on U.S. culture? The memes. The songs. The jokes."
In language and politics
The Urban Dictionary, on the day of the tweet, quickly added an entry for "covfefe" defining it as follows: "It literally means covfefe." In June 2017, the popular word game Words with Friends added "covfefe" to its dictionary. Two years later, Scrabble refused to follow suit, prompting a dig at Trump by Hillary Clinton.
In October 2017, Dictionary.com announced that "covfefe" topped its list of 'unmatched queries', that is user searches for a word that does not have an entry. In October 2018, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable added an entry for "covfefe" to its 20th edition.
In December 2017 Lake Superior State University included "covfefe" in its '43rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness'. The university's spokesman noted that the word "became shorthand for a social media mistake".
In public discourse, "covfefe" is now often invoked when discussing gaffes by public figures, businesses and organizations. Among Donald Trump's subsequent misspellings and mis-speakings, "text massages","President Of The Virgin Islands", "the oranges of the investigation", "Smocking gun", "Hamberders", "Melanie", "Prince of Whales", "Global waming,"and others, have been compared in the media to the covfefe tweet.
Gaffes by Joe Biden, by McDonald's, by India's Ministry of Finance, by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, by Indian writer and politician Shashi Tharoor, by British journalist Andrew Marr, by former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, and by Burger King also evoked comparisons to covfefe in the media.
Other uses of "covfefe" involve word play on similarity with the word "coffee". Examples include a coffee shop called "Covfefe Café", a beer called '"No Collusion" Russian Imperial Coffee "Covfefe" Stout', various Covfefe coffee drinks, an alcoholic coffee cocktail "Covfefe", a coffee and tea ad by Amul, a pro-Trump coffee brand "Covfefe Coffee", etc.
In a December 2018 article in Esquire journalist Tom Nicholson put Covfefe as no. 1 in the top five list of Donald Trump's "linguistic triumphs", with the story's byline "It's hard to imagine a dictionary without 'covfefe' in it now."
On July 12, 2017, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley introduced H.R.2884, "The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act (COVFEFE Act)". The bill would require the National Archives to preserve and store social media posts by the President of the United States. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the same day, and saw no further congressional action.
In business and commerce
As of March 2019, at least 40 trademark applications had been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for various kinds of covfefe-themed merchandise; none of those applications have been granted. A January 2019 decision by Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO, upholding the denial of one of such applications, concluded that the word "covfefe" was too commonly used in a variety of contexts and therefore cannot be trademarked for any specific product.
In September 2019 JPMorgan Chase created a "Volfefe index", with the name inspired by the Covfefe tweet, to measure the impact of President Trump's tweets on the U.S. bond yields. The name "volfefe" is a combination of the words "volatility" and "covfefe".
In literature, art, and entertainment
In 2018 a Trump critic Najah Mahir published a book The Ransom that Lies Demand: We the People and "Covfefe", described by the publisher as "a nonfiction book that boldly serves as part of a movement to attain knowledge and freedom while rejecting racism and harmful ideologies".
A public art project started in January 2018 by an American artist Diana Weymar, documenting Trump's twitter mishaps, features covfefe-themed art.
A December 2018 art rug design "Caught in the Covfefe" by a textile artist Polly Webber is immigration themed and "portrays a border patrol officer taking a young girl from her undocumented mother, who pleads in Spanish, 'Don't take my daughter!'"
A poem The Rise of the COVFEFE by Philadelphia poet James Feichthaler is inspired by the covfefe tweet.
In scholarly research
- Matt Flegenheimer (2017-05-31). "What's a 'Covfefe'? Trump Tweet Unites a Bewildered Nation". New York Times. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Emily Stewart (2019-09-09). "The Volfefe Index, Wall Street's new way to measure the effects of Trump tweets, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Amanda Kooser (2018-12-10). "Donald Trump #SmockingGun typo sets Twitter on fire". CNET. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
Twitter user Matthew Kick gave a humorous shout-out to one of Trump's most famous Twitter spellings of all time, the mysterious "covfefe" back in 2017
- Morgan Gstalter (2018-12-11). "George Conway mocks Trump's misspellings". The Hill. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
Katyal, who previously worked under former President Obama, trolled some of Trump's most famous spelling errors by asking why Starbucks "cofefe" was always "smocking hot."
- "The Daily Show will be trolling Trump on his birthday with ads on Fox News". The Week. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
The pop-up exhibit, which has already traveled to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, features some of the president's most famous tweets, such as the ever-mysterious "covfefe."
- Cat Zakrzewski (2019-07-12). "The Technology 202: Trump's social media summit was a spectacle. Here are the real takeaways for Big Tech". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
Large posters of some of President Trump's most famous tweets were placed on stands. My colleague Philip Bump spotted a tweet about the president's "covfefe" typo next to the bust of Abraham Lincoln.
- Adrienne LaFrance (2019-01-13). "Six Hours and Three Minutes of Internet Chaos". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Andrew Griffin (2017-05-31). "COVFEFE: WHAT DOES DONALD TRUMP'S TWEET ACTUALLY MEAN AND WHAT WAS HE TRYING TO WRITE?". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "When spelling goes wrong: Famous typos from Trump to Nasa". BBC News. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Paul Thornton (2017-06-03). "Opinion: Don't laugh off 'covfefe,' readers say — it could indicate problems with Trump and our culture". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Jonny Lieu (2017-05-31). "People are going 'covfefe' over Donald Trump's 'covfefe' tweet". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Tom Kutsch (2017-05-31). "Spicer on 'covfefe': 'The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant'". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Aja Romano (2017-06-03). "Covfefe kerfuffles, partisan dogs, and Wonder Woman wars: the week in memes, explained". Vox.com. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "#MeToo, #TakeAKnee and #Covfefe: Hashtags that dominated in 2017". BBC News. 2017-12-27. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Jessica Estepa (2017-05-31). "Sean Spicer says 'covfefe' wasn't a typo: Trump knew 'exactly what he meant'". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Stacy Jones (2017-05-31). "Trump 'Covfefe' Tweet More Searched Than Paris Climate Agreement". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Darren Geeter (2018-05-18). "We now know how to pronounce 'covfefe' — thanks to President Trump's appearance in a White House 'Yanny or Laurel' video". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Philip Bump (2019-07-05). "The problem with Trump's Revolutionary War airports isn't the airports". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
This inability to admit misstatements has no more extreme example than his infamous "covfefe" tweet from 2017.
- David A. Graham (2019-09-05). "Trump's Most Pointless Lie". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
Not since "covfefe," a similarly absurdist episode, has Trump stuck so insistently to a pointless lie, though even that moment was over faster.
- "Trump's Alabama Dorian debacle shows he refuses to be wrong". al.com. Associated Press. 2019-09-06. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
And even when Trump mistakenly tweeted the nonsensical word "covfefe" late one night, the president, instead of owning up to a typo or errant message, later sent Spicer to declare, "I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant."
- Jessica Estrepa (2018-05-31). "Covfefe, one year later: How a late-night Trump tweet turned into a phenomenon". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Jessica McBride (2017-05-31). "Donald Trump & 'Covfefe' Tweet: What Did He Mean?". Heavy.com. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Nicole Gallucci (2017-06-01). "Words with Friends adds 'covfefe' to its dictionary, 'covfefe' is officially dead". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Nicole Goodkind (2019-05-26). "HILLARY CLINTON ASKS HASBRO TO UPDATE SCRABBLE APP, BUT TELLS THEM TO LEAVE 'COVFEFE' OUT OF IT". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Heidi Stevens (2017-10-18). "A covfefe by any other name ... might not have made dictionary.com's most-queried list". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Tristram Fane Saunders (2018-10-31). "Covfefe, kompromat, and mugwump: your guide to every new word in the 2018 Brewer's Dictionary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Jeff Karoub (2017-12-30). "List bans "fake news," "covfefe" and "let me ask you this"". Denver Post. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Priyam Chhetri (2018-08-12). "No happy ending: Donald Trump has another 'covfefe' moment, asks FBI to give Andrew McCabe 'text massages'". Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide (MEAWW). Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Jim Heath (2018-09-22). "Trump Said He Met With The President Of The Virgin Islands… Not Realizing It's Himself". jimheath.tv. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Robert Harrington (2019-04-03). "Donald Trump has a whole new covfefe moment". Palmer Report. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Matthew Rozsa (2018-12-10). ""Smocking gun" is the new "covfefe": Twitter erupts after Trump misspells the same word twice". Salon. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Max McLean (2019-01-15). "'Hamberders and covfefe': Trump's latest misspelling amuses social media". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Samantha Leach (2018-05-19). "Donald Trump Misspelled Melania's Name While Congratulating Her, and It's the 'Covfefe' of 2018". Glamour.com. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Max McLean (2019-06-13). "Twitter erupts after Donald Trump's Prince of Whales gaffe". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Paul, Deanna (January 29, 2019). "What President Trump keeps getting wrong about 'Global Waming'". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
- "Alternative Fact of the Week: Trump on Biden's gaffes — the pot calling the kettle covfefe". Baltimore Sun. 2019-08-14. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Joe Mandese (2017-11-24). "McDonald's Covfefe Moment: Attributes Early Morning Tweet To Lack Of McCafe". MediaPost. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- "When Ministry Of Finance Has A Covfefe Moment". Outlook India. 2017-10-27. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- "Philippines leader Duterte follows in Trump's 'covfefe' footsteps with 'fafda' tweet". Russia Today. 2017-08-18. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Vandana.Srivastawa (2017-11-14). "Shashi Tharoor Commits a Typo in His Tweet And The Twitterati Was Quick To Crack Jokes At His Expense". India.com. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- "The most 2017 tweets of 2017". BBC News. 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- "Дмитрий Медведев написал два загадочных твита. "Vk mho cucumber" — да что это вообще значит?". Meduza. 2019-06-12. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Sam Blum (2018-08-15). "Burger King Tweeted Something Super Weird & People Are Kind of Concerned". Thrillist. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Rebekah Lowin (2017-06-07). "'Covfefe' Could Live On As Beer or Coffee". foodandwine.com. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
It's a natural fit, after all; "covfefe" looks (and, depending on how you pronounce it, sounds) nearly identical to "coffee."
- Alyssa Faykus (2019-07-05). "Covfefe Cafe aims to get people talking". Beaumont Enterprise. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Brent Hallenbeck (2019-02-01). "Covfefe in a can: We try Drop-In Brewing's 'No Collusion' Russian Imperial Coffee Stout". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Sydney C. Greene (2017-06-08). "Shaw's Tavern throws a 'covfefe' to watch the Comey testimony in D.C., draws line around the block by 9:15 a.m." USA Today. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Scott J. Croteau (2017-06-05). "Lalajava in Northborough brewing up a little fun with 'Covfefe Coffee' after President Donald J. Trump's tweet". MassLive. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Audrey Gordon (2017-09-27). "10 buzzworthy coffee cocktails around Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- "Amul's witty take on Donald Trump's new word 'covfefe' is perfect!". Indian Express. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- T. Arthur Mason (2019-01-07). "Covfefe Coffee Banned From Amazon Ads For American Flag". The Minuteman. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Lizzie Helmer (2019-06-04). "Here's the Footage From the UK Protests Trump Called 'Fake News'". Independent Journal Review. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Noah Michelson (2017-06-11). "Here Are Some Of The Best Signs From The Equality And Resist Marches". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Ted Johnson (2017-06-11). "LGBTQ Resist March Draws Heavily on Anger Over President Donald Trump". variety.com. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Tom Nicholson (2018-12-11). "Trump's 'Smocking Gun' And Five More Times He Bent The English Language To His Will". Esquire. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Danny Clemens (2018-11-21). "Yanny vs. Laurel, 'covfefe', Beyonce's twins and more moments that broke the internet". WPVI-TV. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- H.R.2884 – COVFEFE Act of 2017, Actions Overview, Congress.gov. Accessed 2019-09-10.
- Patrick Kulp (2017-05-31). "Of course 'covfefe' has already spawned a cottage industry of garbage swag". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Sarah Dennis (2017). "Cedar Rapids by Miguel Arteta (review)". Middle West Review. 4 (1): 199–201. doi:10.1353/mwr.2017.0081.
Although Raygun continues to release current events slogans beyond presidential elections (a recent shirt declares, "We have nothing to fear but covfefe"), the brand's primary offerings are local color slogans that simultaneously celebrate and satirize midwestern identity.
- "Covfefe: The Game (2018)". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "COVFEFE! -the Vocabulous Board Game!-". Teachers Pay Teachers. 2019-09-09.
- "Covfefe: The Game with the Best Words". Etsy. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "OK138 Covfefe". Apple store. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "Covfefe Puzzle". Apps on Google Play. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- "Covfefe Gifts". Zazzle. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Alex Seitz-Wald (2019-01-18). "The anti-Trump 'Resistance' turns a year old — and grows up". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Kaylee Fagan (2018-07-20). "Someone finally made a simple way to edit your tweets, inspired by President Trump's famous 'covfefe' typo". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
- Tom Kulik (2019-03-11). "Trumped By 'Covfefe' II: Yet Another Reason NOT To Trademark Trending Names And Catchphrases". Above the Law. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Mariam Jaffrey (2019-03-04). "PRESIDENT TRUMP'S VIRAL TERM "COVFEFE" CANNOT BE USED AS A TRADEMARK, BOARD RULES". American University Business Law Review. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Tracy Alloway (2019-09-08). "JPMorgan Creates 'Volfefe' Index to Track Trump Tweet Impact". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- David Millward (2018-02-04). "Donald Trump leaves lasting 'covfefe' legacy as motorists immortalise presidential tweet on licence plates". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- "Covfefe". bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Bill Finley (2019-08-06). "Inside the Winner's Circle: Covfefe". thoroughbreddailynews.com. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- "FUTURE STARS FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: THE TRUE MEANING OF COVFEFE". breederscup.com. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
- Najah Mahir (2018). The Ransom that Lies Demand: We the People and "Covfefe". Dorrance Publishing. ISBN 9781480990531.
- Jessica Stillwell (2019-01-25). "Riviera Beach, FL Author Publishes Book on Female Oppression". Dorrance Publishing. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
- Sanya Jain (2019-08-29). "The Woman Who Knitted Donald Trump's Tweets". NDTV. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
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- Andrew Beaujon (2019-06-14). "6 Exhibits You Shouldn't Miss at the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- "COVFEFE CHRISTMAS Featuring President Trump Tweets by New York Times…". Virtual Strategy Magazine. 2018-12-06. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
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- Brian Clarey (2017-06-14). "Trump's America: The COVFEFE Act". Triad City Beat. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
- Luke Stromberg (2019-07-15). ""The Battle of COVFEFE Hill" by James Feichthaler". E-Verse Radio. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
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- Andrew S. Ross; Aditi Bhatia (2019). "#secondcivilwarletters from the front: Discursive illusions in a trending Twitter hashtag". New Media & Society. 21 (10): 2222–2241. doi:10.1177/1461444819843311.
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