Trump: He Was a Real 'Nut Job'
Lookups spiked 173,750% after Trump used the word to describe Comey
Nutjob (“a mentally unbalanced person; a crazy person”) raced to the front of our lookups on May 19th, 2017, after it was reported that Donald Trump had used the word in reference to the recently-fired head of the FBI, James Comey.
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
—Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman, and Matthew Rosenberg, The New York Times, 19 May 2017
Nutjob (which is also commonly spelled nut job) is one of our more recent epithets which call into question a person’s mental state, dating in use to the late 1950s. Its origin is a pleasingly straightforward one, combining nut (“a foolish, eccentric, or crazy person”) with job. The latter portion of nutjob may be found in a variety of compound nouns, of both the open and closed varieties, such as nose job and hatchet job.