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Early discussions[edit]

I think that we should include Colbert's definition of Truthiness as being "Truthy, but not facty" somewhere in there. Perhaps as a fifth definition?

Zirka 07:49, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

There's already too many definitions up... 1 and 2 are pretty much duplicates of each other, I think, but I doubt I could get away with touching this page while it's still a current event. 'Truthy but not facty' may be catchy but it doesn't convey much in the way of meaning. —Muke Tever 01:35, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I've combined the second and third definitions since they were so similar; moved the "archaic" definition first, since it was (likely) closer to the standard definition before Colbert "reinvented" the word; attributed Colbert's "definition", although I had to preface it with "quality of" to make it define a noun; see page history/diffs for other, more minor, changes. - dcljr 00:14, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

References & Quotations[edit]

If anything it would make more sense to put the new definition at the top. The article itself states the old definition is rarely used while the new definition is very popular. - RadLink5 00:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. That, and it's clearly not limited to or even primarily being used comedy. Satire and politics, yes. An example you can already find on Google books:

The Krypton Companion Published 2006 TwoMorrows Publishing →ISBN

Quoting a roundtable discussion: ... I don't ever recall Superman being depicted in the comics as a "Boy Scout." That is one of those "truthiness" descriptions ... like writers talking about Spider-Man suffering from acne - which he never did.
Nor is that just a simple lucky strike. Now a year and a half since reintroduced into language, and not simply as a book term, it's being used in the news without any reference to Colbert. Some examples:
Changing and directing here for --Halliburton Shill 07:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Usage notes[edit]

Ruakh, what is this based on? In the news, though not all news, it usually gets quotes around it. But if you look at the sites that follw the Colbert Report most closely -,,, and - quotes are not used. In fact, using them in such a context reverses the meaning. How about restricting the usage note to the news or expanding it to include usage on public forums and blogs?--Halliburton Shill 04:59, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Psychophant websites are examples of independent use? I think not! Those websites are not usable as citations for numerous reasons, the least of which include that they do not represent mainstream English (let alone mainstream Internet use of English.) Blogs and discussion boards, of course, are even worse. --Connel MacKenzie 05:12, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Generally true, yet usenet and blogs are listed as preferable in WT:CFI. Are you familiar with that? Colbert himself doesn't put it in quotes, and it wouldn't hurt to also recognize a few more of the people noted for being better informed (note "fake news" in quotes). We're not talking about fan sites for soap operas and pop singers. Besides, as I mentioned, some news articles are already removing the quotes (cf., all 5 above bulleted citations I provided). Consider it a transition from the archaic to the present and future.--Halliburton Shill 09:10, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


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Please do not re-nominate for verification without comprehensive reasons for doing so.


Yes, I know ...

This was discussed a year ago, and generally considered to have failed. Now it has been a year, current citations span about 2 years, and there are numerous uses that don't directly reference Colbert.

There is another point, which I made in the Tea Room: If it were not for the Colbert usage, this entry would pass CFI easily as a rare, archaic, but attested usage (with OED, citations).

Seems to me this is at the point where it should pass. What say you? Robert Ullmann

The word itself should pass, as the archaism. Let's do the senses separately. Cynewulf 15:04, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Which makes the question: should the Colbert sense be listed as a sense, or as a note on the current humourous usage? Robert Ullmann 15:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with sense verification. The 1st and 2nd sense at the moment should be merged until there's evidence that a new sense is developing. The 2nd is actually closer to how Colbert defines the term. On the April 30, 2006 60 Minutes interview, when asked to define it, he said: "What you want the facts to be as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support." Merriam-Webster also provides similar definitions in naming it the 2006 word of the year. Keep in mind that even though the origin is comedic, it's taken and used as seriously as fraud or fake or lie. For more references including a premade link to current news references that use truthiness without Colbert, see Talk:truthiness.--Halliburton Shill 19:09, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I apologize for the out-of-process deletion last night (see comments in WT:TR.) I do believe the comedian usage of the term should still be considered vandalism, since that was the point of each of the comedy skits (vandalism) in the first place. And, indeed, each episode of the show did result in quite a bit of said vandalism. --Connel MacKenzie 15:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Great points raised by everyone :-) We can all agree that a dictionary which is out of touch with the language people actually use, isn't worth much.. so.. since the word is used in the Colbert sense quite widely now, it's definitely a great addition to Wiktionary :-) Compare with things like embiggen, amscray, brillig..  :-) —This unsigned comment was added by Language Lover (talkcontribs).

I've taken the liberty of making the two senses rather more distinct, as I don't think that the one evolved into the other, but rather that the second is a completely new word, with no connections to the first, save being a descendant of truth. Atelaes 05:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

"truthiness" - Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year for 2006[edit]

Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year for 2006 based on votes from visitors to our Web site:

1. truthiness (noun) 1 : "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005) 2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

Can I point out that the reason for "truthiness" being honored with word of the year was that it got the most votes on their website? That is certainly not a relevant method for determining inclusion here... If we chose words that way exicort might have won it a few times now. - [The]DaveRoss 15:39, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course. It's simply 1 indication of popularity and use. In this case, one of many. I wouldn't say it's irrelevant or comparable to exi. That word doesn't appear anywhere on this year's or previous MW lists.--Halliburton Shill 03:15, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

RFV passed, as there are indeed a few cites that don't explicitly mention Colbert, though I assume they had him in mind. (I labeled both Colbert senses "jocular", and added a usage note that will, I hope, placate the haters.) —RuakhTALK 04:18, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


Translations of the word[edit]

Can one put the translation of word in the article? I found the Dutch word on the Dutch wikipedia page

Eurobloke 17:19, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Translation suggestions[edit]

The see also section might help. Not sure if there's a direct translation for most languages. It might work combining the equivalent of "truth" + "iness" in the other languages. Sort of a combination of desire + denial + feeling, faith, and belief.--Halliburton Shill 03:28, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Another possiblity is favoritism as applied to an ideology/idea/concept/fact/thing.--Halliburton Shill 03:37, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for deletion - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of February 2009. 07:01, 12 February 2009 (UTC)