This abbreviation may seem like something straight from texting slang. But, it may confuse you to hear this in important news and videos. The reason you will also hear this in formal situations is because it stands for something. Any time you learn or talk about United States politics, you can use this abbreviation.
POTUS stands for President of the United States
Note: This is pronounced “poe-tiss” with emphasis on the second syllable in speech. If you spelled out the letters, most people would not understand.
It is a long phrase (especially if you are writing for a print newspaper or magazine) to refer to the US President as their full title. You could save a lot of space and time by changing your headline to POTUS instead of “President” or their name, or just have another option when using synonyms.
This is really good for places where the number of characters are limited, including posts on social media or news sites.
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There is nothing informal about this abbreviation. While some other abbreviations should only be used in conversation, this one is okay for formal situations. News reporters and representatives of the White House use it all the time.
You can also use it to refer to the general office of the president (such as previous speeches by the POTUS…). You could also emphasize the role of the person, not necessarily his or her personal characteristics or beliefs.
The POTUS announced today that he is planning to endorse one of the candidates in the run for California mayor, surprising us all.
Our top news story today is about the POTUS’s overseas diplomacy trip to the Middle East.
Americans also use the OTUS abbreviation in two other common abbreviations. The first is FLOTUS, which refers to the First Lady of the United States. Previously this was Michelle Obama, and currently it is Melania Trump.
The second abbreviation is SCOTUS, which stands for the Supreme Court of the United States. This is a very common abbreviation because of the length of the name. When you talk about US Supreme Court rulings, judges, and other policies, you can use SCOTUS.
Like POTUS, you can pronounce FLOTUS and SCOTUS as a single word.