Trump wishes Olympians luck 'big league'

Story highlights

  • Trump posted an image of himself with the words "Big League" and "Good Luck Team USA"
  • "Big league" is a favorite phrase of Trump's

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump wished the US Olympic team good luck on Friday -- and may have cleared up a "bigly" debate in the process.

On the night of the 2016 Olympics' opening ceremonies in Rio, Trump posted an image of himself to Twitter and Facebook, giving a thumbs-up with the words "Big League" and "Good Luck Team USA" overlaid.
    "Big league" is a favorite phrase of Trump's to describe something being done to a high or extreme degree.
    An example from a November rally: Hillary Clinton is playing the "women's card big league."
    Another, this time in March to describe Republicans running against him: "They are losing big league."
    Said quickly, however, the phrase sounds like "bigly" -- a portmanteau that has not gone unnoticed by the Twitterverse in recent months.
    "'I hold in the highest esteem Sen John McCain.' - Trump endorsement. Of course, had he not been captured, I'd hold him in more bigly esteem," actor Jeffrey Wright tweeted Saturday.
    CNN contributor and Clinton supporter Bakari Sellers, aping the real estate mogul's Twitter mannerisms: "Network ratings sad! Trump bounce huge...bigly bounce. Liberal media lies!"
    The Daily Beast recently got the phrase in a headline: "Donald Trump has many positions on many, many things. Except windmills. He hates them. Bigly:"
    Even "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon, a frequent Trump impersonator, has incorporated the phrase.
    "America's going to start winning, and winning bigly," Fallon said in a May sketch.
    But it remains to be seen whether Trump's Olympic tweet will clear the air.
    "Wait, has he been saying 'big league' this whole time, not 'bigly'? Atlantic contributor Matt Ford tweeted.
    "Trump said 'bigly' accidentally so many times he's retconning and doubling down on cover up fix as 'big league,'" Esquire writer Luke O'Neil quipped.