Unveiled: The Birther-English Dictionary! [1]


In recent (and prolonged) conversations on the meaning of “natural born citizen” with birther “MichaelN,” and despite a good deal of patience on my part, I finally came to a point of some frustration. It just seemed as if Michael and I were speaking two different languages.

And then, all of a sudden, it hit me… that was it!

We were speaking two different languages!

This exciting discovery — that Birthers are a separate ethnolinguistic group with their own distinct language and terminology — is a linguistic breakthrough that promises to promote far, far greater understanding of the Birther movement and of Birther terminology. It also promises to greatly relieve the stress and frustration that many ordinary Americans encounter when attempting to converse with Birthers.

The reason this is such a frustration reliever is that — with a proper understanding of the meaning of Birther terms — statements that appear to normal people to be frustratingly and even obviously false (for example, that “Barack Obama is absolutely and undeniably not eligible to be President, because even though born in Honolulu, he is not a natural born citizen” or that “Obama’s birth certificate is clearly and indisputably a fake” ) are surprisingly revealed to be true after all. It’s all just a misunderstanding!

Unfortunately, the realization that Birthers speak a somewhat separate language has been hindered until today by two very confusing factors.

First, the terms that they use — being etymologically derived from English — tend to bear an extremely close similarity to certain English-language terms that often have quite different meanings. Many, in fact, are spelled the same, and even pronounced the same, as confusingly similar English-language words with different meanings. Because of this, one must often carefully consider the context to help determine whether a term belongs to the English language, or to the Birther dialect.

Secondly, they use ordinary English as a basis and foundation for their speech, substituting Birther only in particular words. In that sense, Birther is only a semi-language, or a derivative dialect, similar to a “Creole” language.

These two confusing factors have combined, until now, to prevent the widespread realization of Birther as a separate linguistic identity. It is true that one or two individuals in the past have recognized this dynamic and have made previous abortive attempts to compile a “Birther Dictionary.” However, to my knowledge and belief, the Dictionary that I present today, while concise, represents the most complete effort so far to define and understand the Birther dialect.

And so, without further ado, I would like to present the First Edition of the Birther-English Dictionary — in the hopes that it will greatly ease future English–Birther–English communication.

The Birther-English Dictionary (First Edition)

Important note: In order to distinguish between confusingly similar English-language terms and Birther-dialect terms, standard English-language words are presented in normal type. Birther terms are italicized. The style of the examples — in which Birther words are inserted almost at random into English-language sentences which are used as a foundation — is typical of the Birther speech pattern.

alien – n., 1. a foreigner. 2. Barack Obama.

attorney – n., a person who has a law license. No actual legal skill, experience in filing lawsuits or valid arguments are necessarily implied.
Example: Orly Taitz, Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo are attorneys.

Birther – n., a person who speaks the truth. [See truth.]

brief – n., a document, so named or described, filed by an attorney in a court of law. This need not necessarily make valid legal arguments; it need not necessarily be well-written; it need not necessarily contain standard features such as a table of contents; and it most definitely is not required to be brief.
Example: Have you read Mr. Apuzzo’s 199-page brief in the case of Kerchner v. Obama?

challenge – n., a legal action with no chance or hope of success.
Example: Commander Kerchner’s (Ret) Obama Ballot Challenge Hearing in Pennsylvania Set for March 1st, 2012 (BirtherReport.com)

citizen – n., 1. a citizen. 2. a natural-born citizen.
Example: The Supreme Court found Wong Kim Ark to be a citizen [def. 2], not a natural born citizen. [See natural born citizen.]

con man – n., See jerk.

Constitution – n., a particular Birther’s fantasized ideal of what he imagines the Constitution of the United States to have been. [See also intention.]

definition – n., a non-exclusive, sufficient but not necessary condition.
Example: The Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett gave a definition of “natural born citizen.”

distortion – n., an accurate representation. See lie.

eligible – adj., meeting with Birther approval.
Example: Barack Obama is not eligible to be President.

evidence – n., a completely unsubstantiated or invalid allegation; hearsay.
Example: At the Georgia hearing, Orly Taitz presented reams of evidence in support of the fact that Mr. Obama is not eligible to be President.

expert – n., a person who supports the truth. No particular level of skill or professionalism is required or implied.
Example: More than twenty different experts all agree that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.

expertise – n., a lack of ability; or, a lack of experience.
Example: Attorney Leo Donofrio brings significant expertise to the question of Obama’s Constitutional eligibility.
Example: That lying Obot has no expertise for discussing this issue.

fake – adj., containing superficial anomalies that arouse Birther suspicions but which have been shown to be striking but unimportant. n. a document having such anomalies.
Example: Barack Obama’s birth certificate is clearly a fake.

fallacy – n., any fact or valid argument that a particular Birther doesn’t like.
Example: You really need to do something about your paranoia and pathetic reliance on fallacy. (MichaelN)

foreigner – n., See alien.

fraud – n., 1. a fake. 2. a jerk; a con man.

hack – n., 1. an Obot who has no expertise. [Translated into English, this means “any person, of any political persuasion, who denies the [claims that Barack Obama is ineligible], and has no [lack of ability] to demonstrate that such claims are invalid.”] 2. any judge who rules against a Birther challenge.

hypocrite – n., 1. a person who is not willing to tell the truth unless it’s actually the truth. 2. a person who passes up the opportunity to become famous in Birther circles or to make money selling “eligibility” goods to the willing and eager Birther audience, preferring instead to deal in facts and reality.

idiot – n., a person (of any intelligence) who questions or disbelieves the truth; [synonym: moron].

ineligible – adj., 1. having had non-citizen parents at birth. 2. having the name of Barack Obama. 3. not meeting with Birther approval.

integrity – n., consistency with the truth.

intention – n., [as applied to the Founding Fathers], a Birther’s fantasized idea of what he imagines the actual intention of the Founding Fathers to have been. [See Constitution.]

jerk – n., a person who politely points out the falsity of Birther arguments.

law – n., the outcome politically desired by Birthers, without regard to precedent or legal consensus.
Example. We are fighting for the rule of law.

liar – n., someone who tells the truth, even when it conflicts with the truth.

lie – n., a statement containing factual, substantiated points, which do not confirm Birther hopes.
Example: “John Woodman has filled the Internet with lies and distortions.” (Mario Apuzzo) [See distortion.]

lying – participle adj., presenting factual, reasoned arguments.

Minor v. Happersett – n., an 1875 Supreme Court case in which the Court gave a definition [see definition] of “natural born citizen,” which Birthers claim meant natural born citizen. [See natural born citizen.]

moron – n., an idiot. [alt. spelling: moran — not to be confused with Daryn Moran, the former US Air Force Staff Sgt. and birther who went to Washington, DC in September 2011 seeking “to arrest Obama” because Obama had a fake birth certificate.]

natural born citizen – n., also Article II natural born citizen; a person born on US soil of two parents who are both US citizens. Note that a “natural born citizen” in Birther is NOT the same thing as a “natural born citizen” in English. This is similar to how in German, “hell” means “bright or very well lit.” And “Gift” means “poison” — which is why Germans like to have their photos taken in front of “Gift Shops” for the amusement of their friends back home.
Example: There is nothing in the Wong Kim Ark decision that suggests that the Court declared Wong Kim Ark an Article II “natural born Citizen” and therefore eligible to be President. (Mario Apuzzo)

native-born citizen – n., a person born in the United States who is not a [in English, not Birther] natural-born citizen. This term is not to be confused with the very similar English-language term “native-born citizen,” which means a person born on US soil, who is thereby also a natural born citizen. There is no word in English for the Birther concept of native-born citizen, since, legally speaking, such a person does not appear to exist.

Obot – n., any person, of any political persuasion whatsoever, who denies the truth; without any regard to whether they support Barack Obama or not.

paranoia – n., disagreement with Birther doctrine.

pathetic – adj., Birther-unapproved; at variance with Birther opinion.

patriot – n., any person who supports Birther goals, for any reason including personal gain of fame, money, sense of importance, etc. This is distinguished from the English word “patriot,” which means any American who loves his country and supports the actual Constitution and the actual intentions of the Founding Fathers, whatever those may have been.

proof – n., a stronger and more impressive word for evidence.

proven – adj., alleged; claimed; esp. referring to allegations, however weak, mistaken or invalid, made by a Birther.
Example: Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a proven forgery.

stooge – n., 1. a hack [def. 2]. 2. an idiot.

subpoena – n., any document filed by an attorney ordering action on the part of a non-Birther, whether legally valid or not.

traitor – n., any person who fails to support the truth, or who is not a patriot.

truth – n., any claim whatsoever that supports the idea that Barack Obama is not legally President of the United States, whether based in fact or reality, or not.

win – v., past tense: won. 1. to have all of one’s arguments embarrassingly destroyed. Example: “I won the debate against that lying Obot.” 2. to be given the opportunity for your case to be heard on its merits, with approximately 1 chance out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of success.
Example: “I won!!! I won!!! I won!!! Judge Malihi ruled in my favor. Obama’s motion to quash my subpoena is denied!” (Orly Taitz, prior to the hearing in Georgia)

Wong Kim Ark – n., an 1898 Supreme Court case in which the Court determined that Wong Kim Ark, born in the United States of two Chinese national parents, was a citizen [def. 2].

Copyright (C) 2012. International and film rights reserved.

[1][Note: This post, being rather tongue-in-cheek, is obviously different from virtually all of my previous posts, which have been devoted to the attempt to seriously analyze and promote understanding of the issues. It’s arisen out of my experience in discussion with birthers, and particularly with MichaelN, of watching him repeatedly deny factual points that clearly disprove his arguments.

And as with so many birthers, it doesn’t seem to matter how many different arguments he presents that have been factually shot down. It doesn’t matter how strong the evidence is against his points. He will always return either to repeat claims that have already been disproven, or with some new angle — apparently hoping to find one single point in support of his position that cannot be clearly shown to be clearly invalid, so that on that one indefinite and dubious point he might be able to declare that his claims have been “proven.”

So how does one come up with a “Birther-English” dictionary? It’s fairly simple. In most cases, you can simply take a birther claim that is known to be invalid, unsupported, or outright false. Then, assume that the sentence is instead true — and redefine one or more major terms in the manner required to turn the sentence into a true one.

The fact that I am publishing this is frankly an illustration of the degree to which I have now seen “birthers” — for various reasons — consistently twist and deny truth. Their widespread twisting and denial of truth, and their promotion of sheer propaganda, is frankly frustrating. Anyone who actually values truth and integrity should be frustrated at what so many of the “birthers,” like Michael, are doing to our public discourse.

I have no objection whatsoever to people opposing Mr. Obama on the basis of his politics, policies, and actions as President. In fact, if I weren’t spending so much of my time making a case for truth, accuracy and integrity in our public discourse, I would probably be spending more of that time opposing Obama myself.

But if you are going to make a case against someone, then make a case based on the truth and on sound law — not on misconceptions, twisting of facts and case law, and in some cases, what certainly very much appears to be outright propaganda and lies.

All of that sounds — and is — reasonable. The problem, of course, with “birthers” applying that is that in order to do so, they’re going to have to leave birtherism behind, and dig into new and real issues — such as Mr. Obama’s actual policies, and whether or not they are actually likely to be good for the country. If they do that, then they will no longer be “birthers.” That would appear to be a “cost,” and yet I can’t see why any person of honesty and integrity would mind terribly much leaving birtherism behind. The reason for that, of course, is the same reason I noted in my earlier post, “Why the Birthers Lost.”

It is that it should now be clear (at least, to anyone who has taken the time to understand the points on both sides made so far) that birtherism, on all fronts, has factually failed.]

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34 Responses to Unveiled: The Birther-English Dictionary! [1]

  1. John

    I think you are catching on. Great piece. You could have fun reading Mario’s 199 page “masterpiece” with your Birther dictionary handy.

    Masterpiece – n., A long, rambling Birther legal filing or blog post devoid of relevant legal citations, fact, historical accuracy, or common sense. See Apuzzo, Donofrio.

  2. Kudos on the publication of The Birther Dictionary!!! However, I must point out one glaring omission arises regarding the spelling of the word, “moron.” From my travels among the Birfstani, they usually opt for, “moran.” See generally Notes here:


    And moran, as defined by the Urban Dictionary:

    1. The ironic way to spell moron.
    “Get a brain! Morans”
    2. The preferred method of spelling “moron” by morons, particularly that of a Missouri redneck at a rally supporting the US led war in Iraq.

    Both based on this iconic image:

    Your obedient servant,

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Thomas Brown says:

    Nice job, John. Welcome to the stress-relieving graces of first-person satiric humor.

  4. Montana says:

    Mitt Romney’s Mexican father, hmmmmm…….Are the simple minded “BIRTHERS”, going to ask Romney for his birth certificate? We all know this was never about a birth certificate, if it was then these same people would be asking Romney for his. It’s about small minded people who hate African Americans and do not have the brains to review a President’s policy so they make something up. So sad, so sad.

  5. Slartibartfast says:


    You should check out Arapaio’s presser:


    I think you’re needed…

  6. William McPherson says:

    Very funny. BTW you have brought me to your side of the NBC argument. However, I have an additional question about the other pdf’s on the White House website, the SFBC and the correspondence.

    How many and what kind of layers do each of the other two pdf’s presented on the White House website contain?

    All 3 seem to have been created equal: all pdf’s, all produced within 3 minutes of each other, all produced on macintosh, all on the same software, all are optimized- Yet, the LFBC stands out BIG time. It contains ALL the anomalies. So I’m curious as to what the layers look like in the other pdf’s. Does the LFBC stand out when comparing layers?

    • Slartibartfast says:

      I can answer your questions–all of the layers stuff is crap and there is no evidence of forgery (granted, John can do it more thoroughly, but this is what it will boil down to…).

      The state of Hawai’i says President Obama was born there. The Constitution gives them the authority to do so–why don’t you respect the Constitution?

      • William McPherson says:

        If you can answer, please do. How many layers do each of the other pdf’s contain? How do all 3 sets of layers compare visually? It’s not an odd question to ask, since all 3 docs were created so similarly. I have not seen this answered any where else. John, has politely answered other questions of mine, and he has enlightened me on various points.

        • Slartibartfast says:


          In my book, anyone unwilling to admit that President Obama is a natural born citizen and eligible for the office he holds is a bigot and either willfully ignorant, stupid, or dishonest and deserves nothing but my contempt. There is no reasonable theory of fraud which would include a computer generated forgery, so your interest in meaningless minuta gives you away.

          • William McPherson says:

            I question the facts. You question me.

            • Slartibartfast says:

              Yes, you show interest in a discredited conspiracy theory propagated by idiots, liars and their ignorant dupes and I ask myself which sort you are. I would also note that the only facts you question are completely irrelevant to anything of any significance whatsoever.

    • obsolete says:

      The LFBC has many more elements, and are distributed throughout the documentary (not easily grouped together). Since Illustrator will attempt to group like-things together, it will have more layers simply because it has more elements and diversity.
      I haven’t opened the other pdf’s in Illustrator myself, but seeing as they only have a couple of elements (a letterhead, and a couple paragraphs of text, a signature), you can expect far fewer layers.

  7. verbalobe says:

    Lovely, Mr. Woodman. The examples make it. I laughed — especially having had some experience myself debating MichaelN. Sort of like stepping into quicksand.

    In reply to William McPherson: I don’t know you, and I don’t know the context of your question, so I will answer straightforwardly. I found a pdf of a letter (I don’t have the link right now) on the WH site, posted within a few months of the LFBC. If I recall correctly, it was regarding a Labor matter. It might have been on the letterhead of the NLRB. It had been (apparently) scanned with similar Mac Quartz processes. And when I opened it in Illustrator, it had 7 or 8 layer groups, roughly similar to the LFBC. It was a simpler image of course, a plain letter on white paper, but the agency seal that formed the letterhead was divided up into three or more levels of gray, each on a different layer, much the way the elements of the LFBC were divided according to the grayscale level or bitmap-vs-grayscale distinction. Absolutely by birther standards this letter wold be considered a ‘forgery.’ I suppose they would say it was placed there in order to provide a false-flag counter-example……… sigh

    I’ll see if I can resurrect that link, and post it here. And if I misunderstood your question, please excuse.

    • John Woodman says:

      I laughed — especially having had some experience myself debating MichaelN. Sort of like stepping into quicksand.

      Yes. Rather.

      One is also reminded of the famous scene from Monty Python: “It’s only a flesh wound.”

    • John Woodman says:

      I’ve just added a new word to the Birther-English Dictionary: “brief.”

    • William McPherson says:

      The investigation uses a control they produced, but I suggest using the other pdf’s that were produced a minute before and a minute after the pdf containing the LFBC was produced. I don’t have Illustrator, but if I opened up the SFBC pdf the WH provides I would expect to see about the same amount of layers or fewer due to the fact it’s a less complicated document. The same would go for the Correspondence pdf the WH provides. These pdf’s’ appear to have been produced in order. The SFBC pdf was first. The LFBC was second. The correspondence was third. It seems optimization would be applied equally to these 3 pdf’s. I’m asking, specifically, how many layers does the SFBC pdf have? How many layers does the Correspondence pdf have?

      • John Woodman says:


        Hi — been busy. You can test this for yourself by signing up for a trial copy of Illustrator, via Adobe.com. It’s been a while since I looked at it. I believe I remember thinking or noting that the correspondence was less complex. Why don’t you give it a look and report what you find?

        • William McPherson says:

          I’m back with results.
          Correspondence PDF – produced at 12:08:45, optimized, 4 pages, each with 1 layer
          LFBC – produced at 12:09:24, optimized, 9 layers
          SFBC produced at 12:11:23, optimized, 1 layer
          The other 2 pdfs are b/w bitmap images. They do not contain “copycat” letters, movable parts, or anti-aliasing. The LFBC was optimized differently than the other 2 pdfs. The correspondence and SFBC pdfs look to be optimized identically. No red herring here, but it is noteworthy the LFBC is anomalous to 2 other pdfs produced a minute before and after. However, the LFBC is anomalous in appearance, too. So it seems logical to change settings for it.
          Now, I did find something very interesting with Illustrator. I have not seen this discussed anywhere. The LFBC has 9 layers. It has been explained that the program that optimized the LFBC divided the document into layers by detectable color. One layer is everything the program could not separate out. It contains the background, pencil marks, grid, and anti-aliased letters that were not bit-mapped . No other layer contains 2 colors. Obviously, for every color this program detected it created a new layer. It would seem impossible for 2 layers to share the same unique RGB color. Yet, two do. One must intentionally ignore this fact to not question this document. It’s a leap to think this program detected 3 typed letters as the exact same RGB color as one of the stamps, but it is illogical to think this program would put the same color in 2 different layers. Either it divides by color or not. Is it not ironic that the layer in question is “Non”?

          • John Woodman says:

            Thanks for coming back with results!

            That pretty well comports with what I seem to remember I observed as well — except I don’t remember any two layers being the same color. And I’m pretty sure I compared them. You say one was the “Non,” and one is a stamp. Which stamp?

          • John Woodman says:

            Okay — got it. It’s the Registrar General date stamp — or at least PART of it, and the letters from the actual FORM — “Date A” that are graphically attached to the “AUG.”

            I get:

            65, 86, 67 – Non
            65, 86, 67 – PART OF the Registrar General stamp — AND the graphically attached letters “Date A”

            Actually, I do believe I remember seeing this now. It just didn’t make much of an impression, because there’s an optimization reason for it.

            The optimizing program actually creates smaller graphics, which it then inserts at a particular position into the finished document. You can see these outlined in Illustrator when you click on them, and you can see the size of the graphic required.

            In order for it to have put both the “Non” and those portions of the Date Registrar stamp (AND some of the form letters) on the same layer, it would have to have made a big single graphic. In this case, it simply chose to chop it up into two small graphics instead of one big graphic, because doing so — once again — mathematically, formulaically, saved space.

            Select the squares in Illustrator for each item. That’s the size of graphic provided. Now look and see how much more space would’ve been required to make it a single graphic instead of two graphics.

            Far more significant IMO are three other phenomena: first, the green color. Since when are date stamps various shades of green? We would expect black or grey, not green. No government office that I know of uses green ink. Nor can I image anyone trying to forge something to create a green date stamp on it. Can you?

            Secondly, the fact that the two registrar date stamps are spread out over separate layers (and separate colors). Arpaio’s birthers have made much about the fact that two stamps each have their own distinct layer. What about the two stamps that don’t? Do they have any explanation as to why on earth anyone would spread components of stamps out over multiple layers? Do they have any explanation on earth as to why anyone would randomly make letters of stamps two separate distinct colors? They don’t. Optimization quite rationally and easily explains this.

            The third thing is the attachment of the “Date A” — from the FORM!!! Does Arpaio’s posse have any explanation whatsoever for this? Again, no. Once again, it’s easily explained as an artifact of optimization.

            • William McPherson says:

              The layer with almost all of the type is a graphic that spans most of the document. It has it’s own unique RGB color. It is much bigger than would be needed to enclose the two layers that have the exact same RGB color.

            • William McPherson says:

              Ok, so less area. Got it.

            • John Woodman says:

              If the optimizing program had cut that layer — the one with almost all of the type — up into smaller layers or graphics, it would’ve ended up with well over 50 of them.

              Handling dozens and dozens of separate images is not the efficient way to do things.

              It didn’t group the two graphics mentioned because it was far more efficient to handle them as two separate, very small images.

              If you look at the bigger layer, you’ll see what you see in every single instance: the blue box (in Illustrator) is tight around that particular graphic.

              This, like just about everything else seen in the document, is consistent with optimization.

      • gorefan says:

        As I recall there are other White House pdfs, not related to the LFBC, that when opened exhibit layers.

        Here is an example,


        In Illustrator you can move the image of the White House around and place it any where on the page.

        • William McPherson says:

          Honestly, you could not be claiming the documents are optimized like any of the 3 posted April 27, 2011. The pdfs you refer to contain dozens of layers each. They do not separate by color, solely. Some pages are much less complicated in appearance, but contain many more layers than one would expect. None contain 1 layer like 2 of the pdfs from April.

  8. gorefan says:

    Here is another from August 2010


    It has a neat seal of the Executive Office of the President that can be moved around

  9. Montana says:

    Lets be clear none of these dullards have won a case in the “U.S. Courts”, maybe in their simple minds (if they have any) but not in our “U.S. Courts”, so unless Birthers/ [vulgar euphemism for Tea Party members removed], whatever you want to be called, win a court case, we will continue to see as dullards, liars or racist or maybe all three. Deal with that baby!

    • John Woodman says:

      I don’t know whether you know it or not, but the term you used for Tea Party members is vulgar to the point of being obscene. It will not be allowed here.

      While Jerome Corsi has exploited the Tea Party in Arizona to further the birther propaganda, and while many Tea Party members (being opposed to Mr. Obama) may well unfortunately be susceptible to falling into birtherism, Tea Party members and birthers are not the same thing.

      All of that said — you are correct in your statement that birthers have yet to win single court case. The counts of losses seem to vary somewhere between 100 and 182.

      In fact, the two-citizen-parents nonsense was just heard on its “merits” (of which there are none) and was handily and quite specifically slapped down by a court in the State of Arizona.

  10. Sterngard Friegen says:

    Ask MichaelN to explain Chief Justice Fuller’s explanation of what Wong Kim Ark meant in Fuller’s dissent in that case.

    Between accepting an Australian trolley driver’s analysis and that of the contemporary Chief Justice of the United States, the birthers will take MichaelN.

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