For some reason I thought I’d look into the word trump today. It has a number of meanings:
1. trump (noun): the suit, in a game of cards, that outranks all others; a playing card of that suit; something that gives one an advantage, especially one held in reserve.
From triumph, from the French triomphe (triumph), from the Latin triumphus (triumph, victory), via the Etruscan triumpus from the Ancient Greek θρίαμβος (thríambos – a hymn to Dionysos).
2. trump (verb): to fabricate, devise.
From trump (to deceive, cheat), from the Middle English trumpen, from the Old French tromper (to deceive). Of uncertain origin. Perhaps from the practise of quacks and mountebanks using a trumpet or horn to attract the public, who were then cheated into buying things.
Related French expressions:
– tromper = to deceive, lead astray, mislead; to trick, dupe; to cheat on one’s significant other; to distract oneself from.
– se tromper = to make a mistake
– se tromper de = to mix up
– baillier la trompe = to blow the trumpet, act the fool
The expression trumped up (false, concocted) was first recorded 1728.
3. trump (noun): a trumpet; flatulence; the noise made by an elephant through its trunk.
From the Middle English trompe (trumpet), from the Old French trompe (horn, trump, trumpet) from the Frankish *trumpa/*trumba (trumpet).
Sources: Online Etymology Dictionary and Wiktionary