yes he has

Has Barack Obama Used This Word Too Many Times In One Year?

How many times has Obama uttered the difficult five-syllable word “unprecedented” during his White House term? According to the Politico‘s arbitrary (and would-be time-consuming, if they weren’t just making it up) count: 129 times! The last American president George W. Bush Junior said it 262 times! BUT IN EIGHT YEARS! Dana Perino went to journalism school (yikes!) and she thinks it is bad journalism or something to say a word like this 129 times in less than one calendar year. So that’s what happened on Fox News and in the Politico today. [YouTube, Raw Story]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


  1. AnnieGetYourFun

    How long before conservatives attempt to make “humor” out of this story by over using this word in an “ironic” sense? I say it takes them about 48 hours to come up with their first “joke”, which will be.

  2. Advocatus_Diaboli

    Also according to Dana Perino, Bush never used the words “brush”, “ranch”, or “clearing”.

  3. AnnieGetYourFun

    Also, I can’t even tell you how badly I want to see the homo elves fucking each other to the dulcet tones of wingnut sobbing, but I can’t click on that URL. I might get fired for accidentally clicking on the Sarah Palin ‘n’ dildo one as it is.

  4. JeffGoldblum


  5. thesheriffisnear

    I like to say the word “iteration” and look for opportunities to inject it into everyday conversation. I like the word “stakeholders”, also.

  6. tootsieroll

    Next week:

    “White House Source Reveals: “Obama only shakes it one time, and hasn’t trimmed his nose hair in weeks!”

    For the love of God and all things holy!

  7. ForTheTurnstiles

    Time to switch to “hegemony,” “articulation,” and “queering.” Let’s bring it all back to 1991 so Barry can wear his pleated jeans again and read Stuart Hall’s unprecedented contributions to cultural theory in peace.

  8. OReillysVibrator

    What Ms. Perino meant was that she was told in journalism school not to use the word “unprecedented” in her thesis, “Weekly World News – An Unprecedented Bastion of Fascinating Information.”

  9. The Station Manager

    So… he was talking about a bunch of shit that has happened before? Just to protest Our Evil Muslin Purznit, I’m going to start using “precedented”, like, all the time, forever.

  10. SayItWithWookies

    “Pres Obama Exhausts the Word”

    So is vocabulary like the elusive political capital, wherein a substance that doesn’t exist can now be earned and spent? Do things get less and less unprecedented now, even if they really are unprecedented, because we’ve used up our alotted number of uses?

    Oh, and a couple more questions: how do people who report on this shit claim to do actual work? And where the fuck were they when the term Weapons of Mass Destruction was being tossed around like a dog’s chew toy? Or enhanced interrogation, for that matter? Or un-American? I have a couple of unprecedented things I’d like to see done to these idiots.

  11. Lascauxcaveman

    [re=468136]thesheriffisnear[/re]: Ha! I’m a sucker for the word “precise.” I use it over and over again whilst defending my use of of any given $10 word, by saying said $10 word is more “precise” than some smaller, more common word. It’s even rubbing off on my kids, with their outsize vocabularies and all.

    God, they can be annoying little know-it-alls. I’m so proud.

  12. Extemporanus

    [re=468135]the problem child[/re]: No, it is unprecedented.

    [re=468143]Redhead[/re]: What they fail to mention is that Bush said the word “precedent” 1,294 times while in office, with 1,108 of those times being in conjunction with the word “I’m”.

  13. Mr Blifil

    Word overuse is a danger. I have equated Dana Perino so often in my mind with the female yoni that the metaphor becomes meaningless, like repeating “toy boat” over and over.

  14. Redhead

    [re=468166]Extemporanus[/re]: Gotcha! So really Bush has only said “unprecedented” 129 times since leaving office and becoming unpresident.

  15. Come here a minute

    The last American president George W. Bush Junior said it 262 times! BUT IN EIGHT YEARS!

    However, when Bush said the word, he meant what happened at the end of his term, when Obama became newprecedented.

  16. Mr Blifil

    [re=468173]bitchincamaro[/re]: You’re not counting while seated at state dinners with Laura, right?

  17. Accordion-o-rama

    Bush’s 262 usages were all on the order of “I can’t wait till 2009 when I become unpresidented”.

  18. thesheriffisnear

    [re=468157]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: Its really no fun unless the word is multisyllabic, rolling off the tongue in a way that displays one’s alliterative ability as well as their extensive vocabulary. “Iteration” flows, man. It makes me smile just saying the word. Do I seem pretentious? WOW, pretentious, another needlessly alliterative word. I’m on a roll.

  19. lawrenceofthedesert

    [re=468153]Japster[/re]: Dana Perino went to journalism school, pal: she doesn’t count, she just blindly accepts the count published in the press release.

  20. Extemporanus

    [re=468167]Mr Blifil[/re]: forkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkfuckforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkforkfork.

  21. wallythepug

    So some mouth breathing Fox intern sat through video and counted the number of times Hopey said “unprecedented” instead of, say, fact-check Sarah Pahlin’s autobiographical work of fiction. Hmm. Sully noted today that SP claims in her “book” that Todd’s parents settled Bristol Bay in the 30’s with their little fishing boat, when in fact an Alaskan historian said erm, no, it was settled in the 1800’s and by the 30’s was humming along quite nicely. Hysterical how she makes things up that are easily verifiable. Next thing you know, she’ll be taking credit for TruckNutz.

  22. Hooray For Anything

    Hmmm…do you think Fox News is the top and Politico the bottom in their relationship or is it vice versa?

  23. chascates

    How many times did Bush say:
    war on terror
    charge to keep
    bring democracy
    He[she] may have a PhD[MD] but look who’s President
    lower taxes

  24. Flanders

    [re=468157]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: Those libruls, with their brains literally falling out of their heads.

  25. imissopus

    Fancy elitist with his multi-syllabic words that must be pronounced in a precise fashion. Why can’t he communicate by grunting, like the Real Murkans?

  26. June Cleaver 2.0

    [re=468139]shadowMark[/re]: Funny! Girlfriend probably had a better swing that night than Woods.

  27. FlipOffResearch

    Ha ha the jokes on Fox. While they were playing all those unprecedenteds Barak was usually referring to how bad Bush fucked up the world. Fox is usually loath to air any criticism of Bush.

  28. germansteel

    You know how you don’t like it when someone clearly smarter than you uses a word that is a stranger to your vobabuclary? That’s how it is for the fucks at Fox, and Obama.

  29. Cicada

    Well, at least it’s an improvement over W’s speeches which all sounded like “FREEDOM 9/11 EVIL FREEDOM AMERICA 9/11 EVIL FREEDOM AMERICA FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM”.

  30. depraved indifference engine

    [re=468231]chascates[/re]: and don’t forget “date certain” — who the fuck talks like that?

    And how many times did David Gregory mindlessly parrot whatever Dana Perino told him?

  31. Rotundo

    [re=468340]FlipOffResearch[/re]: The righties hate big words hence the uproar over “unprecedented” If Barry just said “Ain’t never been this fucked up” instead it probably would have passed muster with them.

  32. glamourdammerung

    I am wondering if anyone counted how many times “un-American” was used to describe any criticism of Bush’s policies.

  33. LowerdPeninsula

    [re=468461]Rotundo[/re]: Except, then he’d be criticized for “jive-talking” or being “ghetto”.

    Perino, eh? That was Bush’s favorite Stepford wife fembot. Karen Hughes grew a conscience, Laura was always a secret lib, anyway, but Perino was just ripe for the picking being mildly attractive and dumb as a bag-o-bricks.

Comments are closed.