List of nicknames of prime ministers of the United Kingdom

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This is a list of nicknames of prime ministers of the United Kingdom. Since Sir Robert Walpole, most prime ministers have had a nickname which was in common usage at the time they were in office. Many nicknames can be perceived as disparaging although others are complimentary or affectionate.

List of nicknamesEdit

Robert WalpoleEdit

  • Sir Bluestring[1]
  • Screen-Master General[1]

Henry PelhamEdit

  • King Henry the Ninth[2]

Duke of NewcastleEdit

  • Hubble-Bubble[3]

Earl of ButeEdit

George GrenvilleEdit

  • Gentle Shepherd[5]

William Pitt the ElderEdit

  • The Great Commoner,[6] in reference to his continued refusal of a peerage whilst in office, though he later accepted the title Earl of Chatham.

Duke of GraftonEdit

  • Royal Oak[7]
  • The Turf Macaroni[7]

Lord NorthEdit

  • Boreas (the north wind)[8]
  • Lord-deputy North[8]

Earl of ShelburneEdit

  • Malagrida[9]
  • The Jesuit in Berkerly Square[9]

William Pitt the YoungerEdit

  • Pitt the Younger,[10] to distinguish him from his father, Pitt the Elder.
  • Three-bottle man, in reference to his heavy consumption of port wine.[11]

Henry AddingtonEdit

Baron GrenvilleEdit

Spencer PercevalEdit

George CanningEdit

  • The Cicero of the British Senate[15]
  • The Zany of Debate[15]

Viscount GoderichEdit

  • Prosperity Robinson[16]
  • Goody Goderich[16]
  • The Blubberer[16]

Duke of WellingtonEdit

Robert PeelEdit

Earl RussellEdit

Earl of DerbyEdit

  • Scorpion Stanley[19]
  • The Rupert of Debate[19]

Earl of AberdeenEdit

  • Lord Haddo, in reference to Aberdeen's title before he assumed his grandfather's title of Earl of Aberdeen.

Lord PalmerstonEdit

Benjamin DisraeliEdit

William GladstoneEdit

  • Grand Old Man[22]
  • The People's William
  • God's Only Mistake, used by Disraeli as a mocking alternative to Gladstone's preferred nickname (Grand Old Man).[22]
  • Murderer of Gordon, a scathing inversion of Gladstone's preferred nickname (Grand Old Man) following the death of General Gordon at Khartoum. Gladstone had delayed sending Gordon military reinforcements, so was blamed for Gordon's subsequent defeat and execution by the Mahdists of the Sudan.[23]

Earl of RoseberyEdit

  • Puddin

Arthur BalfourEdit

  • Pretty Fanny, a reference to his delicacy of appearance and manners.[24]
  • Bloody Balfour[25]
  • Tiger Lily[26]
  • Miss Balfour

Henry Campbell-BannermanEdit

H. H. AsquithEdit

David Lloyd GeorgeEdit

  • The Welsh Wizard[31]
  • The Man Who Won The War[31]
  • The Welsh Goat[32]

Bonar LawEdit

  • The Unknown Prime Minister[33]

Stanley BaldwinEdit

  • Honest Stan[34]
  • Uncle Stanley, from his frequent use of the radio as Prime Minister.

Ramsay MacDonaldEdit

Neville ChamberlainEdit

Winston ChurchillEdit

  • Winnie[38]
  • (British) Bulldog;[39] first given to him by the Russians,[40] it was a reference to his ferociousness and focus.[41]
  • Former Naval Person and Naval Person; this was how Churchill signed many of his telegrams to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first choosing the code name "Naval Person" and later changing it to "Former Naval Person" after he became Prime Minister.[42]

Clement AttleeEdit

Anthony EdenEdit

Harold MacmillanEdit

Alec Douglas-HomeEdit

Harold WilsonEdit

Edward HeathEdit

James CallaghanEdit

  • Big Jim[50]
  • Sunny Jim,[50] a homonym of "Sonny Jim", used to patronise an inexperienced person,[51] and to refer to his optimism. Particularly used in the media during the Winter of Discontent of 1978–79, when Callaghan appeared out of touch with the problems people were facing at the time.

Margaret ThatcherEdit

John MajorEdit

  • Grey Man;[65] Major "had been considered a decent but uninspiring person who was known as the 'grey man' of politics", with his caricature Spitting Image puppet portraying him as such.
  • Honest John
  • Prince of Greyness, again referencing his apparent dullness and lack of personality.

Tony BlairEdit

 
Tony Blair's Special Relationship with the President of the United States, George W. Bush, gained him the nickname "America's Poodle".

Gordon BrownEdit

  • Flash Gordon,[69] in reference to the comic strip hero Flash Gordon.
  • Big Clunking Fist, first used by Tony Blair during his final Queen's Speech debate,[70] it was later used by columnists throughout the British media.[71][72]
  • Bottler Brown, used in relation to Brown not calling an election in 2007 after previously suggesting he would.[76]
  • Golden Brown, as Chancellor, Brown sold 60% of the UK's gold reserves. Used by Terry Wogan and the TOGs, normally followed by Wogan saying "Never a frown with Golden Brown", a reference to the song "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers.[77]
  • Gordo.[78] The word means 'fat' in Spanish.
  • Great Leader and Stalin, often sarcastically used by Andrew Neil on This Week in relation to Lord Turnbull's description of Brown as a man who operates with "Stalinist ruthlessness".[79][80] The fortnightly satirical magazine Private Eye also had a mock Stalinist decree each issue, Prime Ministerial Decree.
  • Squatter in No. 10,[81][82] used as Brown was not elected and after Brown attempted to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats following the 2010 general election.

David CameronEdit

  • Dave, Cameron is reported to be known to friends and family as "Dave" rather than David, although he invariably uses the latter name in public.[83]
  • DVD Dave, Mr Cameron was reportedly known as DVD Dave because of his love of DVD Box Sets which he enjoyed with his wife Samantha.[84]
  • Flashman, a reference to fictional upper-class bully Harry Flashman, used by Ed Miliband during a PMQs debate on reform to the NHS.[85]
  • Call me Dave,[86] used since the publishing of his 2015 biography Call Me Dave.
  • Hameron,[87] in reference to the "Piggate" allegations.
  • Dodgy Dave,[88][89] a nickname trending on social media with the #DodgyDave hashtag after Labour MP Dennis Skinner was sent out of the House of Commons in April 2016 for referring to Cameron as "Dodgy Dave" and repeating it after being instructed to withdraw it by Speaker John Bercow.[89] This came about during the Panama Papers scandal.[89]

Theresa MayEdit

  • Mummy/Mummy May,[90][91] affectionately used by Conservative activists to make reference to her matriarchal powers.
  • Bloody Difficult Woman,[92][93][94] originally used by Kenneth Clarke to describe May while preparing for an interview with Sky News, not realising he was being recorded.
  • Submarine May,[95] originally used by Downing Street aides to describe May hiding away "like a submarine" during the EU referendum campaign.
  • Theresa Maybe,[96] used to describe her apparent indecisiveness and vagueness, such as her use of the phrase 'Brexit means Brexit'.[97]
  • Theresa the Appeaser,[98][99] originally used to describe her relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, particularly after Trump's signing of Executive Order 13769 known as the 'travel ban'. It has also been used since to describe her relationships with other world leaders.
  • Maybot,[100][101] used to describe her 'robotic' nature, particularly during the 2017 general election campaign, from which she gained notoriety for frequently repeating campaign slogans such as "strong and stable leadership".[102]
  • Teflon Theresa,[103] used to describe her ability to avoid scandals whilst in the politically sensitive position of Home Secretary.
  • Lino,[104][105] short for "Leader in name only", used during the Brexit process in reference to May's difficulty in passing her negotiated withdrawal agreement through the House of Commons and her perceived lack of authority as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party.

Boris JohnsonEdit

  • Al, used by his friends and family as a shortening of his legal first name.[106]
  • Boris, Johnson has been described as one of the few politicians to be more commonly referred to by his given name than his last name.[107]
  • BoJo, often used by the press internationally.[108][109]
  • BoJo the Clown, a pun on Bozo the Clown, a more pejorative form of the nickname "BoJo".[110]
  • Bozza, an affectionate name used by his friends.[111]
  • Beano Boris or Boris the Menace, coined by the satirical magazine Private Eye which depicted Johnson as a blond-haired version of Dennis the Menace from The Beano.[112]
  • Bonking Boris, a reference to Johnson's reputation for infidelity.[113]
  • British Trump or Britain Trump, used to refer to his perceived similarities with former US President Donald Trump.[114]
  • Buffoon Boris, a pejorative reference to Johnson's supposed ability to provide amusement through inappropriate appearance or behaviour.[115]
  • The Blonde Bombshell, a reference to Johnson's hair colour.[116]
  • Makka Pakka after a video of him sanitising a chair whilst squatting was compared to the In the Night Garden character Makka Pakka.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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