What is the meaning of „POTUS“, „FLOTUS“ and „SCOTUS“? Meaning of the abbreviation, explanation, definition

The terms „POTUS“, „FLOTUS“ and „SCOTUS“ are acronyms of the terms „President of the United States“, „First Lady of the United States“ and „Supreme Court of the United States“. Acronyms are special cases of certain abbreviations where groups of words or single words are reduced to their initial components.

What is the meaning of „POTUS“, „FLOTUS“ and „SCOTUS“? Meaning of the abbreviation, explanation, definition

Nowadays, the acronyms „POTUS“, „FLOTUS“ and „SCOTUS“ are mainly used in newspaper articles, reports or other written documents with reference to the persons meant. Their main advantage is that they are very efficient in terms of language due to their brevity. On the other hand, these acronyms define clear terms, which facilitates understanding.

The Twitter account of the US President has the handle „@POTUS“. The Twitter account of the First Lady of the United States has the handle „@FLOTUS“. The Twitter handle of „The Supreme Court of the United States“ is „@SCOTUS“.


The first of the three acronyms mentioned appeared in 1879. The term „SCOTUS“ was already found in a book called „The Phillips Telegraphic Code for the Rapid Transmission by Telegraph“. As the title of the book indicates, „SCOTUS“ was an abbreviation of the term „Supreme Court of the United States“, which was used primarily for Morse code and the like. then in 1895, the term „POTUS“ for „President of the United States“ appeared. „FLOTUS“ for „First Lady of the United States“ was not used until 1980. Over time, the terms have become more and more naturalized into the English language, especially American English, and are now a normal part of it.

What use did and do the acronyms have?

Historically, the acronyms „SCOTUS“ and „POTUS“ had mainly a strategic and practical use. Since at that time telegraphy, i.e. communication was still done via Morse code, each typed character was valuable and above all time-consuming. For example, „President of the United States“ required 30 characters, while „POTUS“ required only five. At that time, this meant, above all, a huge saving of characters and time. If an urgent message had to be sent with reference to the president, using the acronym proved to be extremely efficient.

Are there already other acronyms of this type?

It is to be expected that more acronyms of this type will be formed over time. So far, „COTUS“ for „Constitution of the United States“ or „TOTUS“ for „Teleprompter of the United States“ have appeared sporadically. As political systems within the United States are always adapting to new developments, the language will also evolve to incorporate many new acronyms of this type.

Other meaning of POTUS

POTUS is a play written by Selina Fillinger that has been performed on Broadway since 2022. The play premiered on April 27, 2022.

The play is about the president, a PR disaster and seven women who try to protect the president.

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