President of the United States: a word used by the Secret Service and other government departments
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary
Origin and usage
The noun POTUS stands for the President Of The United States. It was first used in the late 19th century.
POTUS is an acronym, meaning that it is said as a word, unlike initialisms, where the individual letters are sounded. It started life as an economical and unambiguous way of referring to the President over newspaper and telegraph wires before becoming more generally used, first by staff in the White House and then more widely. POTUS was actually preceded by SCOTUS, the acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States which is first attested a couple of decades earlier. FLOTUS, short for First Lady of the United States, is much later, dating from the late 20th century.
You can read more posts about American elections and the language associated with them by searching the blog with the tag ‘US politics’.
Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.
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