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Doug Emhoff’s title ‘second gentleman’ makes it to Merriam-Webster dictionary

"I might be the first, but I won't be the last," Emhoff wrote about it on Twitter

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
January 29, 2021 12:20:22 pm
Dough Emhoff, Kamala Harris, vice president, second gentleman, indian express newsThe title of the first-ever male spouse of a vice president has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (Photo: Instagram/@douglasemhoff)

Before he made it to the White House, there was a lot of confusion as to what he would be officially called. But it was announced that US vice president Kamala Harris’ spouse Doug Emhoff would be addressed as ‘second gentleman’, a term not popularly used in the country that has never before had a female vice president.

Now that the title of the first-ever male spouse of a vice president is official, it has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. ‘Second Gentleman’ is defined as “the husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction.” The first-known use of this term was way back in 1976, making its addition to the English language relatively recent.

“In concert with a new family’s arrival at Number One Observatory Circle, on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory, the term Second Gentleman has finally met our criteria for dictionary entry,” Merriam-Webster wrote.

“Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband, Douglas Craig Emhoff, is the first Second Gentleman the United States has ever had. (Various states have and have had Second Gentlemen in the past.) The term is not new, but it’s finally common enough to have met our entry criteria.”

The second gentleman himself reacted to this unique addition, as he took to Twitter and wrote: “I might be the first, but I won’t be the last.”

This statement of his echoed with what Harris had said during her acceptance speech last year:

Vice President Kamala Harris had, during an interview with CNN, revealed that Emhoff will be referred to as the second gentleman. She had told anchor Jake Tapper: “I think that the term has evolved into the ‘second gentleman’.”

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