If you spend any time on Twitter, you may have heard some funny words that all look the same: POTUS, FLOTUS, and SCOTUS. What do these strange words mean? Well, they are all acronyms. Acronyms are abbreviations, in which each of the letters represents a word. The -OTUS in these three words stands for of the United States. POTUS means president of the United States. FLOTUS means first lady of the United States (the term for the president's wife). SCOTUS is Supreme Court of the United States (the most important court in the US). 

English has many acronyms like this. Many of them began in the military. SCOTUS and POTUS were first used in the late 19th century, in telegrams. FLOTUS didn't come into the language until almost a hundred years later. VPOTUS has been used here and there to refer to the vice president, but this isn't exactly easy to pronounce, so it hasn't caught on. 

As you may know, Donald Trump is a very unpopular POTUS, and this has led to many jokes about him. In 2017, a Twitter user came up with a new -OTUS word for Trump: SCROTUS. This joke works for two reasons: first, it stands for so-called ruler of the United States, and Trump really doesn't like when people suggest that he is an illegitimate president. But the much funnier part of this joke is that it sounds like the word scrotum. You can click here to find out what that one means; this is a family website! πŸ˜‚ 

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