The Best Presidential Nicknames: BAMF Edition!
Well this is it; the final list in my series on presidential nicknames. This one is reserved for the most badass nicknames. Not all of these presidents are military heroes (nor should they be), but they all have badass names for one reason or another. If you haven’t yet, you should read Part I and Part II first. Hopefully, this series has been as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write, and hopefully it has sparked in you some interest in history.
10. William Henry Harrison
Nicknames: “General Mum”, “Tippecanoe”, and “Washington of the West”.
Anytime that you get compared to George Washington you have to be doing something right. A tip of the ol’ cap to Harrison.
10. John Quincy Adams
Nicknames: “Old Man Eloquence” and “The Abolitionist”.
John Quincy Adams although alive during the founding era is not one of the founders. His time came a bit later. The scion of “His Rotundity” proved to have great eloquence and also character. He was an outspoken supporter of abolition in a time when it wasn’t exactly popular. Also for bonus points and real badassitude, legend has it that Adams didn’t take the oath of office on a Bible, but on a book of laws. Now that’s badass.
8. William Jefferson Clinton
Nicknames: “Bubba”, “The Comeback Kid”, “The First Black President”, “Slick Willie”, and “Teflon Bill”.
Slick Willie for somehow weaseling out of every single scandal that he was involved in and the Comeback Kid for some how always rehabilitating his image after said scandals. Aside from Nixon, Clinton probably is one of the most resilient presidents ever. Every year his presidency (and thereby himself), despite the scandals, looks better and better.
7. Theodore Roosevelt
Nicknames: “The Cyclone Assemblyman”, “The Hero of San Juan Hill”, “The Lion”, “Old Four Eyes”, “Theodore the Meddler”, “Teddy”, “TR”, “The Trust Buster”, and “Teedie”.
The Lion and The Hero of San Juan Hill are pretty fierce names for a dude with glasses thicker than Professor Farnsworth’s. Oh yeh and he was a weak, sickly kid with asthma who learned boxing and started a fitness regime to overcome his weakness. On top of that believed in the conservation of our natural resources and helped protect millions or acres of wildlife. He also didn’t let himself get punked by a bunch of plutocrats. Trust Buster indeed. On top of all of this he is the inspiration for the Teddy Bear, Bam! Bonus points for being the first president to go by his initials.
6. Richard Milhous Nixon
Nicknames: “Gloomy Gus”, “Iron Butt”, “The Mad Monk”, and “Tricky Dick”.
Tricky Dick and The Mad Monk are all-time classic names. Nixon earned the moniker Tricky Dick during the notoriously dirty 1960 California Senate campaign. Nixon was dubbed Tricky Dick by Manchester Boddy one of the Democratic candidates. That nickname was adopted by Helen Douglas who became Nixon’s Democratic rival for the Senate. Along with calling him Tricky Dick she also compared him to Stalin and Hitler and alluded to him being a Nazi on other occasions. Not one to rise above name calling, Nixon answered with an all-time great comeback by stating that Douglas was “pink all the way down to her underwear”.
5. Zachary Taylor
Nickname: “Old Rough and Ready”.
This is the nickname that started this whole process. Zachary Taylor a hero of the Mexican-American War was picked to run for president because he was a southern who northern Whigs felt would be moderate and acceptable enough to win the south. He was and he did. Unfortunately for the south, even though he owned slaves, he wasn’t ready to kowtow to them on the issue of expansion. Unfortunately for him, in the sweltering DC heat he decided to eat a bowl of cherries and drink a bottle of milk and a few days later he died of gastroenteritis. And unfortunately, for history Milliard Fillmore became president. Bletch!
4. George Washington
Nicknames: “The American Cincinnatus”, “The American Fabius”, and “The Father of His Country”.
George Washington is pretty much the prototypical BAMF. He twice laid down power willingly when he could have continued to rule or even set up a dynasty. With those two acts he handed down the tradition of a military that is subservient to civilians and a chief executive that only serves two terms (until FDR ruined things). Being called an American Cincinnatus and Fabius is pretty fucking awesome. If you don’t know who they are you should be ashamed. Doesn’t hurt being called the Father of His Country either.
3. Andrew Jackson
Nicknames: “The Hero of New Orleans”, “King Andrew”, “Old Hickory”, and “Sharp Knife”.
If this discussion was about manly, hardcore, terminatoresque presidents Old Hickory would win in a landslide. Jackson was such a badass he beat the crap out of an army of limeys even though the war was already over, just out of principle. He participated in numerous duels in the process getting wounded numerous times. After getting shot in the ribs in 1806 he lived the rest of his life, until 1845, with a bullet near his heart. He expanded civil liberties (for white men) and the presidency but it wasn’t that great for Native Americans or slaves. However, there’s no denying that Jackson has one of the all-time best nicknames.
2. Ulysses S. Grant
Nicknames: “Sam”, “The Butcher”, and “Unconditional Surrender Grant”.
While The Butcher may not be the most flattering nickname, it does show that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win a battle and the war. Even if he means that he’s willing to throw wave after wave of blue coats against Johnny Reb a la Zapp Brannigan. Grant wasn’t some silver spooned son of a bitch either. He graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point, and subsequently was run out of the army for drunkenness. He spent the next few years failing at every endeavor, but the Civil War proved to be his redemption. In battle after battle Grant proved that he was willing to take a risk in order to achieve victory. Once victory was achieved his terms for surrender were unconditional. If he wanted you to lick his balls well so be it. You are going to do what he says. Upon taking command of the Army of the Potomac Grant showed some the same aggressiveness he had shown in the western theater. He wasn’t afraid of General Lee’s reputation (btw Lee graduated second in his class at West Point without receiving a demerit. I’m sure Grant received a demerit a day.) but took him mano y mano. After vanquishing Lee, Grant went on to be a president that while not great he wasn’t terrible and he fought for right of the newly freed blacks and was conciliatory towards Native Americans. While his nickname wasn’t as clever or flamboyant as others, Unconditional Surrender was a code that he operated by. For that and for crushing the rebellion he shoots to the top of the list, but not quite the tippey-top.
1. Abraham Lincoln
Nicknames: “The Ancient One”, “The Great Emancipator”, “The Liberator”, “Honest Abe”, “The Rail Splitter”, “The Tycoon”, and “Uncle Abe”.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the few, and maybe only, presidents where there are no discussions about whether he was a good, mediocre, or a bad president. He is almost always consistently picked as the greatest US President ever (who the fuck are the weirdos that picked Reagan over Lincoln. The only president that should be considered is Washington imho but even he falls short I believe). The only question with Lincoln is the gradation of his greatness. Most believe he is pretty fantabuluos. He has the best group of nicknames, the best memorial (which treats him like a god), a historical record that looks better with time, and some of the greatest rhetoric ever written by an American president.
William McKinley, Jr.
Nicknames: “The Major”, “The Napoleon of Protection”, “The Agent of Prosperity”, “The Idol of Ohio”.
Anyone who’s an Idol for an entire state is pretty awesome. But even with the Napoleon comparison it’s not enough to make the Top 10.
Dwight David Eisenhower
Nicknames: “Ike” and “The Kansas Cyclone”.
The Kansas Cyclone is pretty awesome and I wish there was a cartoon of this cyclone sweeping across Europe taking out Nazis. Get on that cartoonists.
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Nicknames: “The Great Communicator”, “The Gipper”, and “The Teflon President”.
It was tough leaving Reagan off this list. The Great Communicator is a particularly sweet name. Plus he was the original Teflon President what with the Iran Contra scandal. Even after all these years Reagan did stuff that Nixon wished he could have done and yet it hasn’t affected how he is viewed.
You maybe have noticed that some of these nicknames were blue. That takes us to the final aspect of this post. Yet one more best of list. This list, however, is the 10 best presidential nicknames to call your penis.
10. His Little Majesty
9. The Little Magician
8. The Stuffed Prophet
7. Slick Willie
6. Tricky Dick
5. His Rotundity
4. Old Rough and Ready
3. The Great Emancipator
2. Old Hickory
1. The Rail Splitter
Lincoln as is his want once again has two (and three if you want to count The Liberator) of the top names. Lincoln truly is one of the greatest president. Although if you have issues with premature ejaculation “His Accidency” would definitely be your best bet. Oh John Tyler the gift that keeps on giving.
So there we have it. All presidents are accounted for. Let me know how you think I did or if you have any qualms with my choices in the comments.
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