The Story Behind U.S. Presidential Nicknames

Throughout the years, Presidents of the United States have been referred to by a wide range of nicknames. Some had to do with their favorite things, while others received their nicknames due to some of their political campaigns and the decisions they made. Others received a nickname that had nothing to do with their governing prowess. A few to note include:

·    George W Bush: Bush was often referred to as ‘Dubya’, which came from the Texas pronunciation of ‘W’ , the distinction that separated him from his father of the same name.

·    Bill Clinton: Clinton was called ‘Bubba’ , a nickname he had while growing up in Arkansas. However, when the press saw that he made a strong second place showing in the 1992 New Hampshire primary after news hit about his Gennifer Flowers scandal, he was called ‘The Comeback Kid.’

·    Ronald Reagan: Reagan as known as ‘Dutch’ because when he was younger, he used to sport a Dutch boy haircut. When he became President of the United States, he was known as the Great Communicator because he had a way with words and visibly appealed to the American people. During his election campaigns, Reagan used a saying from one of his movie roles. When he played George ‘ The Gipper’ Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American, ‘win one for the Gipper.’ This is why some people referred to Reagan as the ‘Gipper.’

·    John F Kennedy: Some Presidents received their nicknames after they were no longer head of the United States. After Jackie Kennedy revealed that her husband loved to listen to a musical score from the 1960 Camelot, people began to compare the assassinated President to King Arthur and would call him the ‘King of Camelot.’  

·    Calvin Coolidge: When Coolidge used the slogan, “Keep It Cool With Coolidge,” people started to call him ‘Cool Cal.’

·    Teddy Roosevelt Jr.: Because of his role in busting business trusts, Teddy Roosevelt Jr. received the nickname of ‘The Trust Buster.’

·    Rutherford Hayes: Since Hayes abstained from drinking, smoking, and gambling, he was given the nickname of ‘Granny Hayes.’ During his time at the White House, things were very straight laced, especially with his temperance-supporting wife by his side. She was given the nickname “Lemonade Lucy” because she banned all alcoholic beverages from being served at state functions. The only time she relented was when she served wine at the reception for the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. However, thanks to Hayes’ wife, the custom of conducting an Easter egg roll on the White House lawn was started.

·    Abraham Lincoln: Because he was a kind and gentle man, Lincoln became known as ‘Uncle Abe.’

·    Andrew Jackson: It is said that Andrew Jackson received his nickname of ‘Old Hickory’ because his soldiers thought he was ‘tough as old hickory.’

·    James Buchanan: During his 1856 election campaign, James Buchanan claimed that ten cents a day was enough for a working man to live on. Because of this, people started calling him ‘Ten-Cent Jimmie.’