Are you wondering about the acronyms used to refer to certain elected or appointed governmental representatives in the United States? Discover the answer to the question, “What does POTUS mean?” as well as other common acronyms like FLOTUS, SCOTUS and terminology related to the vice-presidential role.
The acronym POTUS stands for the phrase “President of the United States.” It is an acronym formed by combining the first letter of each word from that phrase in order.
POTUS is pronounced as POE-tus, using a long o sound.
Review a few examples of POTUS meaning used in sentences and questions.
- POTUS is expected to be in attendance.
- POTUS is expected to nominate someone to fill the vacant position.
- Is POTUS expected to sign the bill tomorrow?
- When is POTUS’ motorcade expected to arrive?
Formed in the same manner as POTUS, the acronym FLOTUS combines the first letter of each word in the phrase “First Lady of the United States.” This acronym is used to refer to the wife of the current President of the United States.
FLOTUS is pronounced as FLOW-tus, using a long o sound. It rhymes with the way POTUS sounds when spoken.
Review a few examples of FLOTUS meaning used in sentences and questions.
- FLOTUS will visit several countries with a team of humanitarian aid workers.
- They invited FLOTUS to speak at the upcoming awards ceremony.
- How will FLOTUS manage to accomplish everything on her busy schedule?
- What is the role of FLOTUS under the current White House administration?
When the phrases POTUS and FLOTUS are used together in a statement, that is the equivalent of saying “The President and the First Lady” using acronyms rather than the full words.
- POTUS and FLOTUS appeared at yesterday’s press conference.
- POTUS and FLOTUS visited the region impacted by the hurricane.
- Will POTUS and FLOTUS be arriving together or separately?
- Do POTUS and FLOTUS share the same opinion on that issue?
When a POTUS is no longer in office, the individual is still referred to as Mr. President. However, the term POTUS on its own is generally used for a sitting president, meaning the one currently in office. The acronym can still be used but in a slightly different form.
- Phrases like former POTUS or past POTUS can be used for a president who is no longer in office. As of 2021, Joseph R. Biden is POTUS. Donald J. Trump is the immediate former POTUS.
- Similarly, since the First Lady becomes a former First Lady when her spouse is no longer in office, phrases like former FLOTUS or past FLOTUS can be used. As of 2021, Dr. Jill Biden is FLOTUS and Melania Trump is the immediate former FLOTUS.
While there has not yet been a female president of the United States, there are questions about what phrase and acronym would be used to describe the male spouse of a female president.
- Time will tell exactly what terms will be used, but the general expectation is that the term will be First Gentleman.
- If that’s the case, the acronym would become FGOTUS if the same pattern used to create FLOTUS is followed. However, FGOTUS is certainly not as easy to say as FLOTUS.
If you're interested in what does POTUS mean, you might also be wondering about acronyms that could be used to describe the vice presidential role.
The vice president of the United States is often referred to simply as the VP. However, you could also use the acronym VPOTUS to refer to the person in this role.
- As of 2021, Kamala Harris is VP of the United States of America. You could also say Kamala Harris is VPOTUS.
- As of 2021, Mike Pence is a former VP of the United States. It would also be correct to say that Mike Pence is a former VPOTUS.
Since the spouse of the president is referred to as the First Lady or (most likely) First Gentleman, the word "second" is used to describe the spouse of the vice president. This is because the VP is second-in-charge, after the president.
- Second Gentleman - Douglas Emhoff, husband of VP Kamala Harris, is the Second Gentleman. Since Harris is the first female VP, he is the first person to hold this title.
- Second Lady - When Mike Pence was VP, his wife Karen Pence was the Second Lady. During the eight years that Joe Biden was President, Dr. Jill Biden was the Second Lady.
In keeping with the acronym tradition, these titles could be further shortened to SGOTUS and SLOTUS. Since those terms are difficult to say, though, chances are that they won't become common references to these roles.
SCOTUS is the acronym used to describe the Supreme Court of the United States. The acronym isn’t used to describe individual justices, but rather to speak of the Court itself in aggregate.
- An individual who is appointed to SCOTUS and becomes a member of the Court.
- One individual member is referred to as a Justice.
- The members in aggregate and the Court itself are referred to as SCOTUS.
SCOTUS is pronounced as SCOE-tus, using a long o sound. It also rhymes with POTUS and FLOTUS.
Review a few examples of the acronym SCOTUS in sentence and question format.
- SCOTUS has reached a decision in the matter before the Court.
- Hearings are being held to vet the current SCOTUS nominee.
- When will SCOTUS be in session again?
- Who will be appointed to fill the next SCOTUS vacancy?
The one thing that is common about these acronyms is the fact that they all end with the suffix -OTUS. This suffix is an abbreviation for the phrase “of the United States.” While there aren’t other widely used -OTUS acronyms, this suffix could be used to create acronyms similar to POTUS, FLOTUS and SCOTUS.
Now that you have a better understanding of the meanings of POTUS, FLOTUS and SCOTUS, and other related acronyms, you can use them correctly in conversation or writing. Or, if you prefer to avoid using acronyms, you can simply use the full title when discussing a current or former president, first lady, second gentleman or the Supreme Court. For more ideas on ways to shorten the names of governmental phrases or entities, learn about government acronyms and abbreviations.