also G.O.P., "U.S. Republican Party," 1884, an abbreviation of Grand Old Party. The Republicans were so called from 1876; the Democratic Party also was referred to occasionally as grand old party, with lower-case letters, in 1870s-80s when the Republicans (formed in 1854) still were considered new and radical. The designation grand old ______ is from about 1850; in Great Britain, Lord Palmerston was known as the Grand Old Man by 1880, and it was abbreviated to G.O.M. by 1882.
updated on April 13, 2015