POTUS is an acronym, comprised of the capitals of the phrase “President of the United States”.
Many similar acronyms exist, all describing a high-ranking title in US politics.
These include SCOTUS, FLOTUS as well as VPOTUS (referring to the Supreme Court; First Lady and Vice President respectively).
Origin of the term
“POTUS” as an acronym first started seeing use in the 1890’s, predominantly by telegraph operators, similar to the phrase SCOTUS which has been in place since the 1870’s.
These acronyms are widely used by US administrative and secret service operatives, although their frequency has never been too rampant.
Spread of the term
“POTUS” is mostly used in political contexts or news mediums, where abbreviations are necessary, although it has never been widely embraced by the larger public.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, “POTUS” served as the basis for new acronyms such as FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States).