Sarah Palin, the Bard of Wasilla

July 19, 2010

USA/PALINWashington’s Emma Ashburn had some thoughts today on Sarah Palin’s latest literary stylings:

Sarah Palin: former Alaska governor, ex-vice presidential candidate, bard.

The media-savvy Republican introduced a new term over the weekend, using the word “refudiate” on her Twitter feed at SarahPalinUSA when she opined on plans to build a mosque at the site of the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan. Later, she suggested she wasn’t doing anything William Shakespeare hadn’t done.

Her first tweet on Sunday read:

* Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate

She changed it within hours to:

* Peaceful New Yorkers, please refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real

BRITAIN/Later Sunday she took ownership of the slip-up, which she had also made a week earlier on Fox News.

* “Refudiate,” “misunderestimate,” “wee-wee’d up.” English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!

A search for #shakespalin yields a raft of imitations on Twitter, some of the best riffing on “Hamlet” and “Richard III.”

* How’s all that bein’ and not bein’ workin’ out for ya?

* To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals, or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees.

* A moose, a moose! My governorship for a moose!

Shakespeare didn’t go to Cambridge or Oxford. He wrote for the theater-going masses in Elizabethan England.  He made up the verb “puke,” the noun “eyeball,” and the adjective “zany.”

Palin’s creations may not last as long as those by the bard of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Refudiate is somewhere in the no man’s land between neologism and malapropism. Arguably her greater contribution to the English language will be her new feminist terms: hockey mom, mama grizzlies. And don’t forget her famous line on the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom — lipstick.

Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane (Sarah Palin speaks at National Rifle Association’s 139th annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina May 14, 2010.)

Reuters/Luke MacGregor (Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stanley Wells, poses with a newly discovered portrait of William Shakespeare at Dartmouth house in London March 9, 2009)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Sarah Palin, who was born in Idaho, apparently has the intelligence of a potato.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

[…] here: Sarah Palin, the Bard of Wasilla | Analysis & Opinion | Share and […]

Posted by Sarah Palin, the Bard of Wasilla | Analysis & Opinion | | The Daily Conservative | Report as abusive

[…] was invented by Sarah Palin, the Bard of Wasilla, who joins William Shakespeare, Stephen Colbert, and Twitter in adding to our modern lexicon. […]

Posted by Land of the Free, Home of the Brave » Post Topic » Refudiate This! | Report as abusive

For in electing me, you elect a friend of Alaska. For I love Alaska so much I shall not govern a single village of it. (Revised Henry V).

Posted by Parapalegal | Report as abusive

Alas, much to the chagrin of late…
I do protest and repudiate
the ladies verbiage to refudiate.

Her incompetent musings allow us to see
that she in haste responds
“But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.”

Posted by bulletnose | Report as abusive

Why do people care about this half-term governor who quit her job so she could go make money on the book and speaking tours? She is a walking sound-byte; most of what she says is vapid, untrie, or without substance….just because she’s ‘folksy’ in her speaking style doesn’t mean she is saying anything that matters. She just throw out negative remarks and ‘gotcha’ slogans….if she is so upset about the budget and deficit, where was she when W started 2 wars that have cost us (and continue to cost us) BILLIONS of dollars every month?

Posted by suetess | Report as abusive

The Paris Hilton of politics.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

[…] can read more about it here and […]

Posted by Shakespalin: Sarah Palin ‘Refudiate’ Tweet Enrages Liberals | The Daily Conservative | Report as abusive

It shows why it took “gun-slingging” mama-grizzly long to finish college. Just slow is realizing when you’re making a fool of yourselves. But wait a minute, “people like us”…”the real americans”….They do understand this new bard in the western hemisphire. They wouldn’t pay so much money for dinner if she were that baaaaad!..or would they? yah! they would, some level of interlectual consciousness.

Posted by THEBARDTASTE | Report as abusive

[…] don’t know of a real word that expresses exactly that.  If both the Bard of Avon and the Bard of Wasilla can make up words I’m going to take a crack at it too, as I’m confident that my literary […]

Posted by Dear People Who Find Me Humorless: | observations of the absurd | Report as abusive