On many political forums, I see commenters write terms like "Amerikkka" or "Obummer" in an effort to be derisive. What's the word for this sort of thing? They're often repeated in lieu of an argument, so maybe it's a sort of meme? It's a bit more specific than a portmanteau. "Shibboleth" comes to mind, too, but I'm not sure if it's the best fit.

  • "Amerikkka" and "Obummer" are not examples of the same thing, since "Amerikkka" would still be pronounced "America" but "Obummer" will not still be pronounced "Obama." Apr 27 '17 at 20:40
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    Pun, play on words, double meaning... with a particularly nasty edge.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 27 '17 at 21:35
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    could you call them "satirical misspellings"? (yes it is true that some can be understood when spoken and some cannot.... but that something is a subset of a broader class does not remove it from the parent class)
    – Tom22
    Apr 27 '17 at 22:52
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    @developerwjk squares and circles are not the same thing but they are both shapes. It's correct to call both shapes despite them being different things.
    – Tom22
    Apr 27 '17 at 22:53
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    @Tom22 The Wikipedia article for satiric misspellings actually lists "Amerikkka" among them (along with some other cringeworthy examples)! This might be it.
    – ArnoldF
    Apr 27 '17 at 22:56

satiric misspellings

ArnoldF pointed out this wikipedia entry for satiric misspelling,

I thought I was coining a term but, as it looks like others have also used it to some extent, I'll list it as an answer.

A satiric misspelling is an intentional misspelling of a word, phrase or name for a rhetorical purpose. This is often done by replacing a letter with another letter (for example, k replacing c), or symbol (for example, $ replacing s, @ replacing a, or ¢ replacing c). Satiric misspelling is found particularly in informal writing on the Internet, but can also be found in some serious political writing that opposes the status quo.

A common satiric usage of the letters KKK is the spelling of America as Amerikkka, alluding to the Ku Klux Klan, drawing to a perceived notion of an underlying or inherent racism in American society. The earliest known usage of Amerikkka recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1970, in a journal called Black World. Presumably, this was an extrapolation from the then already widespread Amerika

I will concede that the wording doesn't as neatly fit "obummer" as it does "amerikkka" ... and perhaps something more specific could be found to describe a satiric misspelling with a more phonetic aspect to it. Pehaps a distinction could be made and call those "satiric mispronunciations" But those can also be written, not always said aloud.


They are derogatory slang terms:


(pejorative slang) The United States of America. Generally used in depicting the country as fascist or racist.

  • 1970 July, “White Ethics and Black Power: The Emergence of the West Side Organization”, in Black World/Negro Digest, volume 19, number 9, page 83:
  • In Amerikkka, this movement is evident from efforts to control the institutions serving and located within Black communities.


Blend of America and KKK



  • Refers to negative events, actions, or reactions that are specific to the Obama administration.


Obummer, Nobama: Ranking the Best Obama Pun Insults


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