CLEVELAND ― During the Republican National Convention last week, Google searches increased for phrases containing the word “trumpence,” including, “what does trumpence mean?”
But “trumpence” doesn’t mean anything, because it’s not actually a word. It sounds a lot like “tuppence” or “two pence” ― a form of British money that might be recognizable to some thanks to a song in the film “Mary Poppins” ― but it’s nothing more than a combination of the last names of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence.
Merriam-Webster doesn’t define “trumpence,” but a spokesman for the dictionary publisher noted that there’s been an increase in the number of people turning to its website to search for the word “trumpery” throughout Trump’s presidential campaign.
There was one particularly curious thing that people asked Google about during convention week: “Is Trumpence in the Bible?”
It’s highly unlikely that it is, according to Greg Carey, an author and professor of the New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary.
“Neither ‘Trumpence’ nor ‘Trumppence’ is in any English edition of the Bible I could search,” Carey wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “Moreover, since the Bible was written in Greek and Hebrew, that makes the occurrence of such a term near-impossible.”
It’s possible people might be wondering if the Bible prophesies Trump, Carey said, noting that “Bible prophecy speculation runs rampant in our country.”
Kristine Eggert, a pastor and co-founder of the group God Before Guns, said some people may be looking for the phrase in the Bible “for someone to tell them what to do.”
“It’s easier for people sometimes if they think that there’s something so specific, that they need to live by that tenet rather than a progressive interpretation of the Bible,” Eggert told HuffPost while demonstrating in Cleveland on Thursday. “The Bible is a guide for us, it was a revealing of God in those times. But God continues to be revealed to us all the time, and so something that was written by people in the first century or before Christ is not necessarily reflective of what our culture is now or what we ought to be talking about now.”
People who are looking for signs of Trump and Pence in the Bible may try to pull phrases out of the religious text without looking at the context, leading to a “warped view, ”said Patty Jedlicka, an Akron resident who traveled to Cleveland with the group Hope Is Here to talk to people during the RNC about Jesus.
“People pick out verses to suit their own philosophy, and that’s wrong,” Jedlicka said.
Patty’s husband, George Jedlicka, had his own theory about why people might be searching the phrase.
“’Trumpence’ sounds kind of like an Old English word that might be in the King James version [of the Bible], that’s what they might be looking for,” he said.