The Meaning of POTUS: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered what the acronym POTUS stands for? This article will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the abbreviation POTUS, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the abbreviation POTUS stand for?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the abbreviation POUTS stands for President of the United States. This term is often used as a nickname to refer to the president in articles, newspapers, or other places in order to save time and space when referring to the Commander in Chief. According to Power Thesaurus, there are many other ways that a person can refer to the person who is the current President of the United States. These synonyms include Commander in Chief, American President, President of the USA, and simply “the President,” though the last term can be confusing if it is not clear that you are talking about the United States of America. This acronym and other code names or initialisms were created by taking the first letter of each word to refer to the president in a telegraphic code in the late 19th century.

According to USA.gov, there are many different requirements that one must have to hold office as the President of the United States. The president must be a natural-born citizen of the USA, they must be at least 35 years old, and they must have been a resident of the United States for at least fourteen years. The president is considered the head of state of the United States, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States, and the chief executive of the federal government. The election process is long and difficult. Usually, in the spring a year before the presidential election, a candidate will announce their intention to run for president. Then, leading up to the presidential election, candidates go through many rounds of primaries and caucuses, and numerous debates to receive the nomination for president in their given party. Then, once all of the parties have selected their candidate, the citizens of the United states of America vote for who they wish to be president. This takes place in early November of an election year. On January 20th of the following year, the new president is sworn in on Inauguration Day. 

According to Merriam-Webster, the term POTUS came to be during the 1890s when telegrams were a popular form of communication. Telegraph operators would use POTUS to refer to the president because it saved time and money when it was not as easy to communicate across large swaths of land and distance. POTUS was probably based on the acronym SCOTUS, which stands for Supreme Court of the United States. This came to be slightly earlier, in the 1870s. Later, FLOTUS, which stands for First Lady of the United States, originated in the 1980s by the secret service. Less commonly, VPOTUS is used to refer to the Vice President of the United States, and SLOTUS is used to refer to the Second Lady of the United States.

There are a large number of different ways to refer to the head of some state or republic in other languages. While many other languages also use words that are similar to president because the word has similar origins, there are also many other countries in which the word for president is completely different. This list of translations for the word president is provided by Word Sense. 

  • Kurmanji: serok‎
  • Tatar: президент‎, рәис‎
  • Somali: madaxweyne‎
  • Finnish: presidentti‎
  • Basque: lehendakari‎
  • Arabic: رَئِيس‎ (masc.)
  • Norman: président‎ (masc.)
  • Punjabi: ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ‎ (rāśṭaraptī)
  • Albanian: president‎ (masc.)
  • Yiddish: פּרעזידענט‎ (masc.)
  • Norwegian:
  • Lao: ປະທານາທິບໍດີ‎
  • Lithuanian: prezidentas‎ (masc.), prezidentė‎ (fem.)
  • Slovene: predsednik‎ (masc.), predsednica‎ (fem.)
  • Persian: رئیس‌جمهور‎ (ra’is-e-jomhur), پرزیدنت‎ (prezident), رئيس‎ (ra’es)
  • Polish: prezydent‎ (m-pr) (f), prezydentka‎ (fem.)
  • Mongolian: ерөнхийлөгч‎
  • Kurdish:
  • Galician: presidente‎ (masc.)
  • Greek: πρόεδρος‎ (masc.) (fem.)
  • Armenian: նախագահ‎
  • Azeri: prezident‎
  • Icelandic: forseti‎ (masc.)
  • French: président‎ (masc.), présidente‎ (fem.)
  • Latvian: prezidents‎ (masc.), prezidente‎ (fem.)
  • Maltese: president‎ (masc.)
  • Bulgarian: президе́нт‎ (masc.)
  • Antillean Creole: prézidann‎
  • Russian: президе́нт‎ (masc.), глава́ госуда́рства‎ (masc.) (f) (head of state)
  • Cyrillic: пре́дсједнӣк‎ (masc.) (Ijekavian), пре́дсједница‎ (fem.) (Ijekavian); пре́дседнӣк‎ (masc.) (Ekavian), пре́дседница‎ (fem.) (Ekavian)
  • Dutch: president‎ (masc.)
  • Estonian: president‎
  • Ukrainian: президе́нт‎ (masc.)
  • Indonesian: presiden‎
  • Marathi: राष्ट्राध्यक्ष‎ (masc.)
  • Cantonese: 總統‎, 总统‎ (zung2 tung2)
  • Kalmyk: ерңкәлгч‎
  • Breton: prezidant‎ (masc.)
  • Hungarian: elnök‎
  • Slovak: prezident‎ (masc.), prezidentka‎ (fem.)
  • Sorani: سه‌رۆک‎
  • Amharic: ፕሬዝዳንት‎
  • Turkmen: prezident‎
  • Sinhalese: ජනාධිපති‎
  • Danish: præsident‎ (common)
  • Afrikaans: president‎
  • Latin: praesidens‎ (masc.), praesidentis (genitive)
  • Tamil: ஜனாதிபதி‎
  • Japanese: 大統領‎ (だいとうりょう, daitōryō), 総統‎ (そうとう, sōtō)
  • Vietnamese: tổng thống‎ (of a capitalist state), chủ tịch‎ (of a socialist state)
  • Catalan: president‎ (masc.), presidenta‎ (fem.)
  • Haitian Creole: prezidan‎
  • Pashto: ولسمشر‎, اولسمشر‎, صدر‎, ریيس‎
  • Spanish: presidente‎ (masc.), presidenta‎ (fem.)
  • Romanian: președinte‎ (masc.) (f), președintă‎ (fem.)
  • Udmurt: азьмурт‎
  • Welsh: arlywydd‎ (masc.)
  • Turkish: cumhurbaşkanı‎
  • Swahili: rais‎
  • Thai: ประธานาธิบดี‎
  • Min Dong: 總統‎, 总统‎ (cūng-tūng)
  • Maori: perehitini‎
  • Tajik: президент‎, раис‎
  • Navajo: naatʼáanii‎, alą́ąjįʼ dahsidáhígíí‎
  • Uyghur: پرېزىدېنت‎
  • Burmese: သမ္မတ‎
  • Urdu: صدر‎
  • Manx: eaghtyrane‎ (masc.)
  • Czech: prezident‎ (masc.), prezidentka‎ (fem.)
  • Macedonian: претсе́дател‎ (masc.)
  • Faroese: forseti‎ (masc.)

How can the acronym POTUS be used in a sentence?

The acronym POTUS is commonly used in both news sources and in everyday speech to refer to the President of the United States. People use this because it is much faster than saying the president or the commander in chief. In this example, Sara and Hannah are talking about the president’s social media presence.

Sara: Have you been on Twitter yet today?

Hannah: No, why?

Sara: Oh, just the usual. Another angry tweet storm from POTUS.

Hannah: Oh God. Will it ever end?

Here, Sara uses the acronym POTUS to refer to the President of the United States. It is much faster for her to say POTUS than any other way to refer to the President of the United States.

Overall, the acronym POTUS stands for President of the United States. This acronym, along with others like FLOTUS and SCOTUS, are used by people and news outlets to refer to the lengthy titles of prominent figures and things in the United States government system.

Sources:

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/POTUS
  2. https://www.powerthesaurus.org/potus
  3. https://www.usa.gov/presidents#:~:text=According%20to%20Article%20II%20of,United%20States%20for%2014%20years.
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/scotus-potus-flotus