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Bushism is a term used which refers to the to incoherent, mispronounced, or completely fabricated words or phrases stated by George W. Bush. Bushisms include the mangling of the English language, egregious violations of grammar rules, and other odd phrases.

The sheer existence of the term "Bushism" might be taken as a sign that Bush mangles the language significantly more (or more significantly) than other politicians. However, it is well known that all politicians (and public speakers in general) have occasional slips of the tongue.

Several books have been written on the subject. Among them Jacob Weisberger's "George W. Bushisms : The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President".

Some examples:

  • "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."[1]
  • "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."[2]
  • "We had a chance to visit with Teresa Nelson who's a parent, and a mom or a dad."[3]
  • "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"[4]
  • "They misunderestimated me."
  • "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
  • "I understand small business growth. I was one."
  • "Before I arrived in President, During I arrived in President."
  • "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."
  • "I've been in the Bible every day since I've been the president."
  • "And they have no disregard for human life."—Describing the brutality of Afghan fighters, Washington, D.C., July 15, 2008


  1. White House transcript, February 2001
  2. White House transcript, August 2004
  3. White House transcript, September 2003
  4. Washington Post

See also