Etymology
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POTUS (n.)

wire service acronym for president of the United States (or President of the United States). It is a survival from the Phillips Code, created 1879 by U.S. journalist Walter P. Phillips to speed up (and save money on) Morse code transmissions but obsolete from c. 1940 with the widespread use of teletype machines. The AP still uses it in wire slugs and it is affected occasionally by those seeking to establish journalistic credibility. Other Phillips Code survivals include SCOTUS for "Supreme Court of the United States."

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dunce (n.)

"dullard, dolt, ignoramus," 1570s, from earlier Duns disciple, Duns man (1520s) "follower of John Duns Scotus" (c. 1265-1308), Scottish scholar of philosophy and theology supposed to have been born at Duns in Berwick. His followers, the Scotists, had control of the universities until the Reformation. By 1520s, humanist reaction against medieval theology had singled him out as the type of the hairsplitting scholastic. It became a general term of reproach applied to obstinate or sophistical philosophical opponents by 1520s, then by 1570s it was extended to any dull-witted student. Dunce's cap is attested by 1792 (compare foolscap).

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