What could ‘Coco Chow’ mean? Elaine Chao responds to Trump ‘attacks’

Former Trump administration official Alyssa Farah criticizes Donald Trump trump card Regarding what she calls “repeated racist attacks” on Elaine Chao – what has he said in the past, and what is the meaning of one of his favorite nicknames, “Coco Chow”?

His taunt “below the position he once held,” Farah continued, political reporting. and “especially despicable at a time when the Asian American community is being threatened and harassed.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman, Steven Cheung, defended his employer. He reportedly said Trump’s criticism of Chao had to do with her “potential financial conflict” rather than her race. He is also Asian American.

“People should stop feigning anger,” he said. “And engage in arguments that exist only in their heads.”

Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images for Concordia

What does “Coco Chow” mean for Trump and Elaine Chao?

The easiest way to do this is to dissect Trump’s nickname for Elaine Chao, and do it in two parts, because one half of “Coco Chow” is easier to pin down than the other.

Changing the “-ao” at the end of Zhao Xiaolan’s surname to “-ow” is in line with some mainstream transliteration (or pinyin) methods of Chinese.

Since about 1982, the dominant international standard for Standard Mandarin has been the use of Chinese Pinyinwhich does not contain the “-ow” formula.

Today, however, many transliterations of Taiwanese proper nouns use Wade Giles, bapomofo (Mandarin phonetic symbols/Zhuyin), or China Post Pinyin system. So, in other words, it is not too much to write “Chao” as “Chow”.

But it’s still a misspelling of someone’s name

Trump first used the name “Coco Chow” to refer to Elaine Chao in a Truth Social post, meaning: He did it in writing, not verbally.

This means his choice of spelling is deliberate. And, while spelling mistakes may be harmless, other spelling mistakes can be harmful. Deliberate misspellings of proper names certainly do.

Not only that, but Zhao Xiaolan was also called “Coco Chow Chow” Denotes an intentional misspelling of a name that someone has decided to spell a certain way.

Elaine Chao chose to transliterate her surname, whose original form is neither “Chao” nor “Chow”, but simply “赵”, as in overtake. So spelling it “Chow” is acknowledging that she chose one spelling and deliberately demeaning her by spelling it differently.

What does the “Coco” part of the name “Coco Chow” mean?

This may be meaningless, but Quora contributor Angela Stockton suggests Trump “thinks he’s too smart” by citing the character Ko-Ko from the Gilbert and Sullivan comedy “The Mikado.”

This is set in Japan. Chao immigrated to the United States from Taipei, Taiwan when he was eight years old.

If not, “cocoa” may be a comprehensive reference to the fact that cocoaThe nuts are produced in Taiwan. Other countries in the same broad geographic area produce much more, but Taiwan, as of 2013, Between 100,000 and 1 million tons of coconuts are grown.

If you Google what the word “cocoa” means, the first result is “coconut”. So, who knows? Maybe it has something to do with the coconut; maybe it has something to do with the Japanese characters in the comedy. Maybe neither.

Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Elaine Chao responds to Trump in statement to Politico

confusion statementPolitico stressed that this was an “extremely rare case” of her “wading into the political jungle”.

“When I was young,” she said, “some people misspelled or mispronounced my name on purpose. Asian Americans worked hard to change that experience for the next generation.”

In the past, she decided not to respond to his mentions of her. It “created another news cycle,” Politico quoted people close to her as saying.

“Especially for Asians, filial piety is very important,” the former official was reported to have said. It’s an offense and a taint to everything he’s achieved for Asian Americans.”

“People should stop feigning anger and engaging in controversies that only exist in their heads,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said.

Anything to tell us about this article?

Bruno Cooke has been a freelance writer since 2019, mainly with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus and has contributed to HITC, Groundviews and the University of Sheffield newspaper – where he completed his MA in Global Journalism in 2021. He is the spoken-word poetry editor of The Friday Poem and self-published his debut 2019 novel, Reverie, which his mom called a “fantastic read” and a “great Christmas gift.” Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes: bike tours, black and white Japanese movies, bar quizzes, fermented and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will embark on a journey around the world with his partner.

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