Suvarna Garge (Editor)

List of nicknames of Presidents of the United States

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This is a list of nicknames of Presidents of the United States which were in common usage at the time they were in office or shortly thereafter.

Contents

George Washington

Full name: George Washington

  • The American Cincinnatus Like the famous Roman, he won a war, then became a private citizen instead of seeking power or riches as a reward. He became the first President General of the Society of the Cincinnati, formed by Revolutionary War officers who also "declined offers of power and position to return to his home and plough."
  • The American Fabius For his Fabian military strategy during the Revolutionary War
  • The Father of His Country
  • John Adams

    Full name: John Adams

  • The Colossus of Independence Given for his leadership in Congress in 1776.
  • Old Sink or Swim For the speech in which he vowed "To sink or swim; to live or die; survive or perish with my country"
  • His Rotundity
  • Thomas Jefferson

    Full name: Thomas Jefferson

  • The Apostle of Democracy
  • The Man of the People
  • The Sage of Monticello
  • James Madison

    Full name: James Madison

  • Little Jemmy or His Little Majesty At only 5' 4", he is the shortest person to serve as president.
  • Father of the Constitution
  • James Monroe

    Full name: James Monroe

  • The Era of Good Feelings President "The Era of Good Feelings" was the period following the War of 1812, during which America became less divided politically, to the extent that the only opponents of the ruling Democratic Republicans, the Federalist Party, went out of existence. It was not until resistance to Andrew Jackson's policies produced the Whig Party that oppositional politics resumed in the United States.
  • The Last Cocked Hat because he was the last U.S. President to wear a tricorne hat according to the old-fashioned style of the 18th century.
  • John Quincy Adams

    Full name: John Quincy Adams

  • Old Man Eloquent or The Abolitionist famed for routinely bringing up the slavery issue against Congressional rules, and for his role later on in the Amistad case. He is the only American President to be elected to the House of Representatives after his Presidency. The nickname gained currency as a result of his campaign against slavery waged as a Congressman, and as the attorney in the Amistad case.
  • Andrew Jackson

    Full name: Andrew Jackson

  • The Hero of New Orleans for his military victory in the Battle of New Orleans
  • Old Hickory Allegedly given to him by his soldiers for being as "tough as old hickory."
  • King Mob
  • Martin Van Buren

    Full name: Martin Van Buren

  • The American Talleyrand
  • The Careful Dutchman Van Buren's first language was Dutch.
  • The Enchanter
  • The Great Manager
  • The Master Spirit
  • Martin Van Ruin
  • Matty Van From "Tippecanoe Songs of 1840"
  • The Mistletoe Politician So called by Joseph Peyton of Tennessee, a Whig opponent, who charged that "Martin Van Buren was a mere political parasite, a branch of mistletoe, that owed its elevation, its growth--nay, its very existence, to the tall trunk of an aged hickory" (i.e. Andrew Jackson).
  • Old Kinderhook (OK) a reference to his hometown.
  • Red Fox of Kinderhook a reference to his hometown, Kinderhook, NY
  • The Little Magician given to him during his time in the state of New York, because of his smooth politics and short stature.
  • William Henry Harrison

    Full name: William Henry Harrison

  • General Mum As in the expression, "keep it mum". Because of his avoidance of speaking out on controversial issues during his election campaign
  • Tippecanoe or also Old Tippecanoe A reference to Harrison's victory at the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe. This nickname was used in the campaign song Tippecanoe and Tyler Too during the 1840 Presidential election.
  • Washington of the West A reference to Harrison's victories at the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe and 1813 Battle of the Thames.
  • John Tyler

    Full name: John Tyler, Jr.

  • His Accidency, a nickname given by his opponents; Tyler was the first president to be elevated to the Presidency by the death of his predecessor, William Henry Harrison.
  • James K. Polk

    Full name: James Knox Polk

  • Napoleon of the Stump Because of his potent oratory during his campaign for the Tennessee state legislature
  • Young Hickory Because he was a particular protégé of "Old Hickory", Andrew Jackson
  • Zachary Taylor

    Full name: Zachary Taylor

  • Old Rough and Ready
  • Millard Fillmore

    Full name: Millard Fillmore

  • The American Louis Philippe
  • Franklin Pierce

    Full name: Franklin Pierce

  • Young Hickory of the Granite Hills "Young Hickory" compared his military deeds (in the Mexican–American War) with those of Andrew Jackson. "The Granite Hills" were his home state of New Hampshire
  • Handsome Frank
  • James Buchanan

    Full name: James Buchanan, Jr.

  • Old Public Functionary Used by Buchanan in his December 1859 State of the Union address and adopted by newspapers.
  • Old Buck From a shortening of his last name, used later in life.
  • Bachelor President Per his unmarried status.
  • Ten-Cent Jimmy Derogatory, as a reaction to Buchanan's campaign statement that ten cents a day was decent pay for a worker.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Full name: Abraham Lincoln

  • The Ancient One A nickname favored by White House insiders because of his "ancient wisdom"
  • The Great Emancipator and The Liberator For the emancipation of the slaves.
  • Honest Abe
  • The Rail-Splitter
  • The Tycoon For the energetic and ambitious conduct of his Civil War administration
  • Uncle Abe Lincoln was a kind and friendly man who in his later years came across as avuncular
  • Andrew Johnson

    Full name: Andrew Johnson

  • The Tennessee Tailor He worked as a tailor before going into politics.
  • Ulysses S. Grant

    Full name: Ulysses S. Grant — born Hiram Ulysses Grant but enrolled at West Point as Ulysses S. Grant through a clerical error

  • Unconditional Surrender Grant His uncompromising demand for unconditional surrender during the Battle of Fort Donelson in 1862 made him a hero.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    Full name: Rutherford Birchard Hayes

  • Rutherfraud or His Fraudulency, Because after the disputed results of the 1876 Election, many Democrats did not consider him legitimately to be president.
  • James Garfield

    Full name: James Abram Garfield

  • Boatman Jim, referencing his work on the Ohio canals in his youth.
  • Chester A. Arthur

    Full name: Chester Alan Arthur

  • Chet, shortened version of his name used by publications of that era.
  • Gentleman Boss, as the dapper leader of New York State's Republican party.
  • Prince Arthur, and The Dude President He was renowned for his fancy attire and indulgence in extravagant luxury.
  • Walrus for having strange-looking facial hair (mostly used or teased by children).
  • Grover Cleveland

    Full name: Stephen Grover Cleveland

  • His Obstinacy He vetoed more bills than the first 21 presidents combined
  • Uncle Jumbo
  • Benjamin Harrison

    Full name: Benjamin Harrison

  • The Front Porch Campaigner During the 1888 election, he gave nearly ninety speeches from his front porch to crowds gathered in the yard of his Indianapolis home. This nickname has been widely but erroneously attributed to William McKinley
  • The Human Iceberg Although he could warmly engage a crowd with his speeches, he was cold and detached when speaking with people on an individual basis.
  • Little Ben Nickname given to him by Democrats of his era because of his stature. This could also be a reference to his being the grandson of former President William Henry Harrison who had served fifty years before.
  • William McKinley

    Full name: William McKinley, Jr.

  • The Napoleon of Protection "Protection" meant high tariffs, like the one McKinley wrote in 1890.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

    Full name: Theodore Roosevelt

  • The Hero of San Juan Hill He led his Rough Riders up San Juan Hill during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba in 1898
  • The Lion
  • Teddy In the New York Times at least as early as 1900, even though he hated the nickname.
  • TR He liked to sign communications this way. The first president to be known by his initials.
  • The Trust Buster So called as a pioneer of busting business trusts.
  • William Howard Taft

    Full name: William Howard Taft

  • Big Chief
  • Big Lub Boyhood nickname
  • Woodrow Wilson

    Full name: Thomas Woodrow Wilson

  • The Phrasemaker As an acclaimed historian, Wilson had no need of speech-writers to supply his oratorical eloquence
  • The Schoolmaster He was a bespectacled academic who lectured his visitors.
  • Warren G. Harding

    Full name: Warren Gamaliel Harding

  • Wobbly Warren
  • Calvin Coolidge

    Full name: John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

  • Cautious Cal
  • Cool Cal His reelection campaign used the slogan, "Keep It Cool With Coolidge"
  • Silent Cal
  • Herbert Hoover

    Full name: Herbert Clark Hoover

  • The Great Engineer and The Great Humanitarian He was a civil engineer of some distinction and when the Mississippi burst its banks in 1927, engulfing thousands of acres of agricultural land, he volunteered his services and did extensive flood control work. The latter nickname would later be used facetiously in reference to his perceived indifference to the hardships faced by his constituents during the Great Depression. However, the nickname dates back to 1921, when the ARA under Hoover saved millions of Russians suffering from famine. "It was such considerations that Walter Lippmann took into account when he wrote of Hoover's Russian undertaking in the New York World in May 1922: 'probably no other living man could have done nearly so much.'"
  • The Chief This was a nickname picked up at 23 as a geologist surveying in the Australian Outback, but it stuck for the rest of his life.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Full name: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • FDR
  • That Man in the White House
  • Harry S. Truman

    Full name: Harry S. Truman

  • Give 'Em Hell Harry (also a campaign slogan)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Full name: Dwight David Eisenhower (born David Dwight Eisenhower)

  • Ike Known for being in his campaign slogan "I like Ike"
  • John F. Kennedy

    Full name: John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Jack Kennedy was usually referred to as either "John F. Kennedy" or "Jack Kennedy"
  • JFK Most prominent nickname and abbreviation of his full name.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson

    Full name: Lyndon Baines Johnson

  • Bullshit Johnson (Bull Johnson in public) Lyndon Johnson had a reputation for boasting at Southwest Texas State Teachers College
  • Landslide Lyndon Sarcastic reference to the hotly disputed 87-vote win that took him to the Senate in 1949 which became more appropriate following his landslide victory in the 1964 presidential election.
  • Light-Bulb Lyndon Nicknamed so because he hated wasting electricity, and would often storm around the White House shutting off unnecessary lights.
  • LBJ He liked to be known by this abbreviation, which was used in the slogan, "All the way with LBJ"
  • Richard Nixon

    Full name: Richard Milhous Nixon

  • Tricky Dick From a Democratic Party ad leading up to the 1950 U.S. Senate election in California saying "Look at 'Tricky Dick' Nixon's Republican Record."
  • Gerald Ford

    Full name: Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.)

  • Jerry
  • Mr. Nice Guy Because of his clean-cut and non-partisan image
  • Jimmy Carter

    Full name: James Earl Carter, Jr.

  • Jimmy He was the first President to use his nickname in an official capacity.
  • The Peanut Farmer He owned a peanut farm and fostered this image in his early campaigns, as a contrast to elite Washington insiders.
  • Ronald Reagan

    Full name: Ronald Wilson Reagan

  • Dutch Shortly after his birth, his father said he looked like a "fat little Dutchman"; reinforced when he wore a Dutch boy haircut (see pageboy) as a youngster.
  • The Great Communicator In reference to Reagan's ability to communicate.
  • The Gipper After his role as George "The Gipper" Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American. Gipp's exhorted his teammates to "Win one for the Gipper".
  • The Teflon President Coined by Rep. Patricia Schroeder because nothing negative "stuck to" him (like a Teflon skillet); he remained blame-free in the eyes of the American people.
  • George H. W. Bush

    Full name: George Herbert Walker Bush

  • 41, Papa Bush, and similar names. All nicknames that were used after his son George Walker Bush became the 43rd president, to differentiate between the two.
  • Poppy, a nickname used from childhood on.
  • Bill Clinton

    Full name: William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III)

  • Bubba Common nickname for males in the Southern U.S.
  • Slick Willie Often used in the pejorative to refer to his alleged sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky and other prominent female accusers.
  • The Comeback Kid Coined by press after strong second place showing in 1992 New Hampshire primary, following polling slump.
  • The First Black President Used by Toni Morrison in reference to the African-American tropes surrounding Clinton's candidacy.
  • The Big Dog used by several media outlets in regard to his post-presidential popularity.
  • George W. Bush

    Full name: George Walker Bush

  • 43, Bush Jr., Junior, and similar names. Used to differentiate him from his father.
  • Dubya, based on a Texas pronunciation of "W".
  • Barack Obama

    Full name: Barack Hussein Obama II

  • No drama Obama – For his cautious and meticulous presidential campaign in 2007–08 and for his patient, relaxed demeanor.
  • King Obama - For his large use of executive orders, despite having issued fewer executive orders on average than any president since Grover Cleveland.
  • Donald Trump

    Full name: Donald John Trump

  • The Donald Trump has been nicknamed "The Donald" since his first wife Ivana Trump referred to him as such in a 1989 Spy magazine cover story.
  • The Trumpster
  • References

    List of nicknames of Presidents of the United States Wikipedia


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