POTUS is an acronym that stands for President Of The United States. An acronym is an abbreviation of a phrase formed from the first letters of each word. POTUS is now an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is pronounced with a long o.

POTUS seems to have originated in 1879 as telegraph code when Walter Phillips used POT to designate the President of the United States. In 1895 an Alabama newspaper referenced the telegraph code as POTUS.

The term POTUS came into usage within the Secret Service and other governmental agencies. Television shows such as West Wing probably familiarized the term to the general public, POTUS is now used freely in print and online.


POTUS refers only to the president who is in office, it is not applied to former presidents.


Morales, who joins the likes of fellow Boricua Jimmy Smits (“The West Wing”) on the small list of Latinos who’ve played a POTUS on American TV, was pleased to learn early on that his character – a third-generation Mexican-American – was going to be “the only adult in the room,” he says. (New York Daily News)

“And finally,” I said to Ryan, after a lengthy pause during which Ryan and Ron absorbed their lesson about trade, manufacturing, agriculture, intellectual property, national security, and friendship, “no free trade fanatic can beat Hillary Clinton in Ohio or Wisconsin and hence no free trade fanatic can get elected POTUS in the upcoming election.” (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

POTUS Barack Obama Set to Visit Kenya – His Father’s Homeland (The World Post)

Of course, people on Twitter pretend to be someone they’re not all the time, so when Maxwell saw @POTUS was following the Sox, she wasn’t immediately sure it was the real deal. (Chicago Tribune)

And POTUS—to use the unlovely American acronym for President of the United States—is pretty close to being omnipotent (omni-POTUS) in the world at large. (The Indian Express)



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  1. There is, of course, also FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) and SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States).

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