'Second Gentleman' Is Officially in the Dictionary

Doug Emhoff says he won't be the last one.

The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration keeps making history. Yesterday, Merriam-Webster announced that it added "Second Gentleman" to its dictionary, defining it as "the husband or male partner of a vice president or second in command of a country or jurisdiction." That makes Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, the United States's very first second gentleman, though CNN adds that he's also the "first male spouse of a vice president and the first Jewish spouse of an American vice president."

Kamala Harris Doug Emhoff
The Washington Post / Contributor

Emhoff mentioned the addition to the dictionary on Twitter, recognizing that he'll be the first with the title and hoping not to be the last.

"Well, now it's official," he wrote. "@MerriamWebsterjust added 'Second Gentleman' to the dictionary. I might be the first, but I won't be the last."

Emhoff told the Huffington Post that he hopes to build on the "legacy of progress" established by the women who served in the role of second lady.

"I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American president or vice president," Emhoff wrote on Twitter. "But I'll always remember generations of women have served in this role before me — often without much accolade or acknowledgment. It's their legacy of progress I will build on as Second Gentleman."

Emhoff was a lawyer based in Los Angeles. He has been married to Vice President Harris since 2014 and as of Inauguration Day, he severed all ties with his law firm, DLA Piper. While he's serving as second gentleman, he will also be teaching an entertainment law class at the Georgetown University Law Center.

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