Presidential nicknames

The Onion gets it right again. : ) In some other pit thread I may press the argument that Mr. Bush should step down, either by resigning or by failing to run for reelection, because he has lost the support to lead effectively. Like Nixon, who stated his resignation was due to his inability to govern while always a suspect, Junior should recognize he’s lost the support half of his constituency, his supreme court, half his congress, the ROTW, and most damning, Inigo Montoya. But that’s not what this thread is about.

It’s about presidential niknames. I can only remember a few that had any currency. Can you fill in the blanks with nicknames that were mainstream (but of course, never hit the official media)?

I don’t remember back any further than Nixon, but what history has logged so far:
Nixon: Tricky Dick

Ford: ?

Carter: ?

Reagan: ?

George Bush: ?

Clinton: Bubba/Slick Willie

George W. Bush: Duhbyah/Shrub

And the bonus question: should he be elected what the hell do we call John Kerry?

Reagan: Dutch

There were people who called Carter “Peanut”.

And Bush Senior was known by his supposed college nickname of “Poppy”.

Reagan was also the Gipper.

I think that WAS Ford’s nickname. Pronounced either “Uh?” or as a shrug of the shoulders.

Carter: Jimmy. Not as cool as some of the others, sure, but it’s a nickname.


I’m not sure that fits his personality (or if he’s the nickname type at all). I don’t think “Skinny” sounds very Presidential, but maybe something like that.

You’re right, of course. But have you ever seen the guy smile? His facial features recall the tristed grimmace of the Batman villain. Whether or not he’s totally diabolical or insane or both remains to be seen.

James Earl “Snake-Hips” Carter

I think Kerry is so boring that his Secret Service nickname will be “John Kerry.”

I am sort of in agreement that Kerry looks a touch like Fred Gwynn, or Herman Munster, so i think Herman would be appropriate.

Andrew Jackson was ‘Old Hickory’

The WTF did you have to post it?

Zachary Taylor - “Old Rough & Ready”

kerry’s secret service name is minuteman.

(get out of the gutter y’all.)

Calvin Coolidge was was Silent Cal, wasn’t he?

How do you know he’s boring?

Franklin Pierce = “Hero of Many a Well-Fought Bottle” (he was accused of drunkenness)

Martin Van Buren = “Old Kinderhook”

Truman = “The Haberdasher” (used to run a clothing store, IIRC)

Bill Clinton - I like to call him “Kodos”. :smiley:

George W. Bush - I’ve heard a lot of people call him “Junior”. In fact, Inigo Montoya calls him that in the OP.

John Kerry - Inigo mentioned a Batman villain, but I think he was referring to The Joker. I think “Clayface” would be more appropriate.


Reagan was also called “Ronnie Ray Gun.”

I read someplace that Kerry was called “JFK” in college not just because they were really his initials but because of his political aspirations and his idolization of John Kennedy. In that vein I think “Jack” might be an amusing sobriequet.

Ford: I seem to remember hearing someone years ago call him “Lefty.” I can only surmise that may have been a reference to his two left feet or that he might have gone left when he should have gone right resulting in some stumble. IOW, he was quite the klutz.

Carter: My parents called him “Cah-tah.” I don’t know if that was lovingly or as regional put-down. I don’t think they were being mean-spirited, though.

Reagan: Yes, “the Gipper.” But more locally to me: “Bonzo.”

Bush, Sr.: I’m so disappointed that people didn’t start calling him “Ralph” after his illustrious dinner with the Ambassador of Japan (???).

Clinton: “Slick Willy” of course. But “Wee Willy Wock-uh-chick-uh-Wock-uh-chick-uh” also found its way into our lexicon after the Monica debacle. cue '70s porn music

Bush, Jr.: “Dubya” is getting old. I propose “Herr Whackjob.”

“Dubya” doesn’t count, since it’s one the guy uses himself.

“Shrub,” as popularized by the unflappable Molly Ivens, would be a more representative example.

William Henry Harrison = Tippecanoe

Abraham Lincoln = Honest Abe

If Kerry is elected, maybe “Lurch” will stick.

I don’t think people are going to call the President “Lurch.” The people who don’t like him will think of something worse, and the people who like him won’t use that.