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Game of Bridge Drops Offensive Words “Trump” and “Spades”; Others Follow Suit

24 July 2016

bridge cards

In an unexpectedly raucous press conference this afternoon, the American Contract Bridge Council announced that it has modified the terminology used in this trick-taking, card game, which dates back to at least 1886 when John Collinson published the first rules of Bridge, or Biritch, as it was then known. Under the new protocol, the highest-ranking suit will no longer be called trump in an effort to distance the popular pastime from any negative association with the Republican party’s nominee.

ACBC president Amy Crossruff stated, “We did not take this action gladly, but our members have become exasperated that every time they ask, ‘What’s trump?’ all they hear are responses such as ‘a nasty narcissistic nabob,’ or ‘a petulant, piss-ass prevaricator,’ or, even, ‘a smarmy spewer of salacious slander.’”

Ms. Crossruff went on to explain that a number of replacements for the word trump were considered, including goon, windbag, and dummkopf, before settling on shalism – a combination of the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, and prism, denoting multi-colors. When a player wants to play a hand with all suits equal in rank, their bid will be called noshalism, or bern for short. The highest achievable bid is seven berns.

When pressed by reporters about any other changes potentially afoot, Ms. Crossruff said that the board was fully committed to the continued use of hearts and diamonds, but have set up a committee to consider whether to change spades to a word less racially-tinged, and clubs to a term that does not suggest violent acts. “We are an inclusive, peaceful organization and want to make sure our table talk reflects that mien, which, to be absolutely clear, is to never be mean,” she emphatically intoned.

In related news, the National Association of Music Educators has announced that small, three-valve, brass instruments will now be known as blarets, while the Nature Society has renamed the largest, North American, water fowl a bugler swan.

When informed of the above developments, Donald Trump shot off the following tweet, “What a bunch of dummies! They’ll all be big-time looosers when I change my name – after I’m elected president – back to Drumpf!”


Rick Blum has been chronicling life’s vagaries through essays and poetry for more than 25 years during stints as a nightclub owner, high-tech manager, market research mogul, and alterkaker. His works have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, The Poeteer, and Bohemia Journal, among others. He is also a frequent contributor to the Humor Times, and has contributed to numerous poetry anthologies. Mr. Blum’s poem, The Inertia of Permanence, was awarded first place in the 2014 Carlisle Poetry Contest. His poem, Tomfoolery, received honorable mention in The Boston Globe Deflategate poetry challenge.