Philbert? New Trump nickname for Bredesen, or a slip of the tongue?

President Donald Trump’s rally for Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn in Nashville included a series of attacks on her Democratic opponent, former Gov. Phil Bredesen. The main themes were that the president had never heard of him, that Bredesen would vote with Democratic leadership in Congress if he were elected, and that he had previously supported Barack Obama and “Crooked” Hillary Clinton.

Oh, and he called him “Philbert.”

Speculation quickly spread on social media about whether this was an intentional slight, or was it maybe just a slip of the tongue?

One theory is that Trump was referring to a character called Filburt in the old cartoon series “Rocko’s Modern Life,” though it seems somewhat unlikely that the president was watching the series when it ran on Nickelodeon from 1993 to 1996.

One the other hand, the nausea-prone turtle character on the show was a nerd, which might mesh with Trump’s description of Bredesen as a tool.

Even less likely would be a character called Philbert the Frog, the subject of a short-lived animated series than ran on the BBC in 1993.

Another guess is that the president might have been referring to filbert nuts, which is another word for hazelnuts.

There’s also towns called Filbert in South Carolina and West Virginia, though Bredesen, like Trump, is from New York (though the upstate part, rather than the city).

 

And finally there’s the mascot of the Leicester City Football Club in England, Filbert the Fox. This seems the least likely choice, as Trump seems like he’d be more of a Manchester United fan.

 

 

 

UPDATE: Commenter “K” suggests that “Philbert” might be a play on Dilbert, the Scott Adams comic strip that has made fun of office life since 1989. Dilbert is often accompanied (and tormented) by Dogbert and Catbert.

 

 

 

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