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Merriam-Webster Adds 'Second Gentleman' as Kamala Harris Takes Office. Here's What it Means

File image of  Kamala Harris with husband Doug Emhoff.  Reuters

File image of Kamala Harris with husband Doug Emhoff. Reuters

The word defines the term as 'the husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction', pretty much how it defines the 'second lady'.

From being the first male spouse of a vice president to being the first Jewish spouse of an American vice president, Doug Emhoff is hitting the headlines. And now he has become the catalyst for a first dictionary entry.

Merriam-Webster added "second gentleman" to esteemed dictionary. The word defines the term as "the husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction", pretty much how it defines the "second lady" as "the wife or female partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction".

He acknowledged the addition tweeting: "Well, now it's official." Emhoff will become known in Washington circles by the clumsy sounding acronym “SGOTUS” for second gentleman of the United State.

Before the outing, Emhoff, 56, taught his first class as a member of the faculty at Georgetown Law. He is a longtime entertainment attorney who gave up his career after Harris became President Joe Biden's running mate.

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Emhoff went out on his first solo public outing Thursday where he highlighted the food insecurity saying it's “something everyone needs to be concerned about.” Emhoff said during the campaign that he would use his groundbreaking role to elevate the issue.

His first solo appearance as the spouse of Kamala Harris, the first woman to be elected vice president, was to meet with representatives of a nonprofit organization with the dual mission of decreasing food insecurity and increasing economic opportunity.

“We’re seeing what we’re seeing on the news with lines of cars," Emhoff told reporters before leaving Kelly Miller Middle School in Washington. He was referring to TV news reports about how the economic hardship caused by the pandemic has forced many people to turn to food banks.

first published:January 31, 2021, 13:05 IST
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