Etymology
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vice-president (n.)

also vice president, 1570s, "one who acts as a deputy for a president," from vice- + president. Made into an official rank and given a different meaning (vice = "next in rank to") in the U.S. Constitution (1787).

There seems to be no doubt of my election as V[ice] Pres[iden]t. It will have at least one advantage, that of permitting me to devote more of my time to my private affairs. [John C. Calhoun, letter to wife, Nov. 12, 1824]

Related: vice presidential; vice presidency.

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vice (n.1)

"moral fault, wickedness," c. 1300, from Old French vice "fault, failing, defect, irregularity, misdemeanor" (12c.), from Latin vitium "defect, offense, blemish, imperfection," in both physical and moral senses (in Medieval Latin also vicium; source also of Italian vezzo "usage, entertainment"), which is of uncertain origin.

Vice squad "special police unit targeting prostitution, narcotics, gambling, etc.," is attested from 1905, American English. Vice anglais "fetish for corporal punishment," literally "the English vice," is attested from 1942, from French. In Old French, the seven deadly sins were les set vices.

Horace and Aristotle have already spoken to us about the virtues of their forefathers and the vices of their own times, and through the centuries, authors have talked the same way. If all this were true, we would be bears today. [Montesquieu, "Pensées"]
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president (n.)
Origin and meaning of president

late 14c., "appointed governor of a province; chosen leader of a body of persons," from Old French president and directly from Latin praesidentum (nominative praesidens) "president, governor," noun use of present participle of praesidere "to act as head or chief" (see preside). In Middle English of heads of religious houses, hospitals, almshouses, colleges and universities.

First use for "chief executive officer of a republic" is in U.S. Constitution (1787), from earlier American use for "officer in charge of the Continental Congress" (1774), earlier of individual colonies (Virginia, 1608), a sense derived from that of "chosen head of a meeting or group of persons," which is from Middle English. During and immediately after the Revolution the chief magistrates of certain states (New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina) took the title, which eventually reverted to governor.

It had been used of chief officers of banks from 1781. Slang shortening prez is recorded from 1883. Fem. form presidentess is attested from 1763.

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veep (n.)

1949, American English, apparently coined from V.P., abbreviation of vice president, perhaps modeled on jeep, which was then in vogue. Introduced by Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), Harry Truman's vice president. According to the "Saturday Evening Post," "his grandchildren, finding Vice-President too long, call him that." The magazines quickly picked it up, especially when the 71-year-old Barkley married a 38-year-old widow (dubbed the Veepess).

Barkley says word "Veep" is not copyrighted, and any vice president who wants to can use it. But he hopes not many will. [U.S. Department of State wireless bulletin, 1949]

Time magazine, tongue in cheek, suggested the president should be Peep, the Secretary of State Steep, and the Secretary of Labor Sleep.

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tanzanite (n.)
violet-blue gemstone, 1968, named by Henry B. Platt, vice president of Tiffany & Co., because the stone was discovered in the African nation of Tanzania.
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gardenia (n.)
shrub genus, 1757, Modern Latin, named for Scottish-born American naturalist Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), Vice President of the Royal Society, + abstract noun ending -ia.
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automation (n.)
1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic (adj.) + -ion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.
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extremism (n.)

"disposition to go to extremes in doctrine or practice," 1848, from extreme + -ism.

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1963]
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viceregent (n.)
also vice-regent, 1580s, from vice- + regent (n.). Difficult to distinguish from vicegerent.
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