While Congress was up on Capitol Hill declaring English the national language, President Bush was downtown trying to enrich it. He reprised a word of his own coinage, “suicider,” as his own shorthand for “suicide bomber.”
According to various Web sites that track the field of English studies known as “Bushisms,” he first used “suicider” in 2002 and has invoked the word frequently since. “Suicider” is in none of the standard dictionaries, not even the 12-volume Oxford English Dictionary considered the definitive standard. At least the word is not there yet; the president is a determined individual.
He used “suicider” again Tuesday. Four times. In the White House. In the stately East Room. At a serious diplomatic function. In front of a visiting head of government, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. How much more serious can you get?
So there it is. “Suicider” is a for-real word. The Decider has spoken.