The Meaning Of The Word 'Covfefe' In The Samoan Language

05/31/2017 02:54 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2017

BBC has alerted us all that the word “covfefe” as used by the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, is a Samoan word. Do you know how excited our very small country is, that a leader of the free world has used a word in our language, and what better time than the celebration of Samoan language week in New Zealand. Spoken by a little over 200,000 people, we are indeed honored that one of our words, or at least that sounds like one, has been used by a non-native speaker.

This photo has no relationship to the article, it’s just a cool old photo of a Samoan woman.
Te Papa Museum
This photo has no relationship to the article, it’s just a cool old photo of a Samoan woman.

As a graduate of the Center of Samoan Studies with a minor in the examination and analysis of the Samoan language and oratory, I can confirm to you today, that the word "covfefe" does have some similarities to several Samoan words, and has some basis on our beautiful language. Below, I will analyse this most intriguing, weird, tweeted word.

Cov (similar to the Samoan word ko and kou) meaning:

ko: Pregnant; to pick a fruit or; to reach for something

kou: is short for oukou (you people, plural) or kakou (us people, plural)

Cov is not a Samoan word because it has the letter 'C' and ends with a consonant. Our alphabet does not contain the letters c, d, w, b, y, j and z, and as you can imagine it is vowel-centric. Cov, however is phonetically similar to the word "ko" and “kou” so for the purposes of this particular phrasing, we will use both ko and kou.

Fefe: Fear; afraid ; or an expression of mockery

Depending on how the word fefe is used, it can be interpreted as fear, afraid or an expression of mockery similar to "whatever or whatevs" in modern day language and slang.

Similar sounding words include the following.

Kefe: Circumcise (original meaning); but recently evolved into an offence or noun that refers to; asshole; and/or putrid person

Fefeke: Inflate and/or fat or large

Fefela: To display ones genitals and/or underwear by voluntarily or involuntarily adjusting ones attire while seated cross legged on the floor.

Based on the phonetic similarities alone, covfefe sounds like the Samoan word combos "ko fefe", "ko fale", “kafefe”, "ko kefe" and “kou kefe.”

These combination words are explained as follows:

Ko fefe: pregnant but in fear of it

Ko fale: pregnant from ones own relative

Ko kefe: a pregnancy of the nether region; or pregnant asshole. If we use the original meaning of kefe (circumcise) then this also means; to reach for ones circumcision.

Kafefe: An expression of shock, dismay or surprise, similar to “Oh my!”

Kou Kefe: You assholes

To be clear, "covfefe" is most certainly not a Samoan word by any measure, however the word "fefe" itself is very much a Samoan word, and one most often used to display the strength of Samoans by the indication that we have no "fefe."

So, dear Trump, thank you for highlighting our language this week, you are most welcome to invest in the education system of our small nation so that people like yourself can learn proper Samoan, if you should see the need.

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