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“Catfish” included in Webster’s dictionary


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Published on: Thursday, July 25, 2013

By Donna Broadway

SILVER SPRING – MTV’s Catfish has reached a point in its popularity and pop culture relevance that the term “catfish” has been submitted to Merriam-Webster for inclusion in an upcoming dictionary.

The term “catfish,” which is used to describe a person who pretends to be another person online, is derived from a fishing term. When transporting codfish from Alaska to China, fishermen found that by the end of the trip, the fish would be mushy and tasteless. In order to prevent this, the fishermen would add catfish to keep the codfish agile and active. The term was brought to show creator Nev Schulman’s attention after the husband of the woman who catfished him explained the term.

Catfishing has also hit Montgomery County with Trina the Natural, who declined to provide her last name to protect her identity, and her “catfish” Lee, both of Silver Spring. The two appeared on the show’s second episode, which omitted Lee’s last name.

In 2011, Trina met a 27-year-old exotic dancer named Scorpio from Atlanta and after a year-long MySpace courtship – the two said they loved each other and discussed marriage – Trina began to suspect something was off about her relationship and contacted Schulman and Max Joseph, co-host and cameraman for Catfish, to help her learn the truth about Scorpio.

“Every time I asked him to send me pictures, it would be the same picture he already sent. This started happening towards nine months, and I asked him for pictures but he always had a show here, he had to fly, he gave me all these excuses that he couldn’t give me pictures,” Trina said. “I wasn’t trying to go on Maury, but I wanted to see if he was who he really is. So I got in contact with Nev and Max, and they helped me from there.”

Schulman and Joseph found Scorpio, who lived just a few miles way.  Scorpio turned out to be Lee, a 32-year-old father of four who was not an exotic dancer. Lee claimed the pictures he was using were of his cousin, Larry Drummer.

Trina was able to meet Drummer after Schulman set up a video chat with him. Trina said she is not in touch with Drummer or Lee.

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