Donald Trump has said, “Iran is taking over Iraq and they’re taking it over bigly.” “We are going to turn this country around. We are going to start winning bigly on trade.” “Obamacare will kick in bigly in 2016.” So is BIGLY a word? The answer is YES. Bigly is not used often by Americans, but it is a legitimate adverb form of the more familiar adjective big.
At first political pundits and late night comedians thought they had Trump in a Sarah Palin or George W. Bush grammatical error. Palin was taken to task for making up the word “refudiate.” Bush was famous for mispronouncing (nucular instead of nuclear) and for making up words such as “misunderestimate.” Maybe Trump plays scrabble and knew about bigly or maybe he is trying to cut down on his use of HUGE. Bigly is a word and Trump uses it correctly. Will it catch on? It just might. One of George W. Bush’s errors did. Bush famously said “the internets” instead of “the internet.” That caught on. I’m not sure anyone remembers “the internets” as a goof. If bigly catches on, we’ll know soon because the late night comedians will add it to Trump’s trademark word HUGE. Watch for it on October 3 when the new season of Saturday Night Live premieres. If Trump impersonations incorporate bigly, bigly could be HUGE.