Merriam-Webster has added the term “second gentleman” to its dictionary database, garnering an enthused reaction from Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Merriam-Webster defines a second gentleman as a “husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction,” and its entry specifically references Emhoff.
The publisher, which has been releasing dictionaries since 1847, categorized the term under “words looking to the future.”
“The term is not new, but it’s finally common enough to have met our entry criteria,” Merriam-Webster said in a statement, noting that many “states have and have had second gentlemen in the past.”
Emhoff — who has said he hopes to honor the “legacy of progress” made by female spouses of vice presidents — tweeted that he would be the first of many second gentlemen.
Emhoff plans to “devote his time to the causes of justice, equality, and human rights,” according to his biography on the White House website.
The former DLA Piper entertainment lawyer will also follow the path of first lady Jill Biden by teaching during the Biden-Harris administration. Emhoff joined Georgetown Law this month and will teach a course called “Entertainment Law Disputes” in the spring.