This is from the same paragraph that sparked my question about pratfall a few minutes ago.
The full paragraph is here (highlighting is mine):
But the first pratfall ― cancelling the vote on the bill after insisting it would go forward ― is not a good sign. Presidencies often are defined, for better or worse, by their first big legislative move. Like first impressions in everyday life, they count bigly, and they establish political dynamics that can last.
What, I wonder, is the intended effect of bigly?
As with pratfall, I was surprised to find that it is an established term, albeit an archaic one. The Collins online dictionary entry for it is this:
It sounds close to the term "big league," which can be used adjectivally in informal contexts. I wonder if the writer (Howard Fineman) is deliberately (and playfully) being creative, intentionally making use of an archaic term with a new meaning that has a ring of familiarity through its association with big league and the equally informal big time, which can be used adverbially with "count."