Can You Name These US Presidents from Just Their Initials?

HISTORY

By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shealah Craighead

About This Quiz

Think you know your WJC from your JFK? The United States of America is now on its forty-fifth president, and they’ve all shared some remarkable similarities. To date, they’ve all been old white guys, save for Barack Obama, who was elected in 2008. Sometimes, their policies are awfully similar, too – but they can all rest easy knowing that they share one unique quality: They all have their own unique names and legacies. In this quiz, do you think you know your American presidents well enough to recognize them by their initials?

Some of these are going to be exceedingly easy. Due to his handsome looks, staccato speaking style, and his unfortunate end in Dallas, JFK is one of the most memorable people of the entire 20th century. But do you think you can pinpoint both his predecessor and successor by their initials, too?

Other initials might leave you shockingly befuddled. That’s because some presidents went by their middle names, while others had no middle name at all.

Elect yourself to this tough president initials quiz now! Maybe you really know your Milhous from your McKinley, or perhaps our challenging test will Trump your middling intelligence!


Who is B.H.O.?

He's Barack Hussein Obama, America's first president with African-American roots. He served two terms before handing the reins off to Donald Trump.

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Who is G.W.B.?

Journalist Molly Ivins just called him "Shrub." He was George Walker Bush, master of the memorable misstatement.

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Who is J.F.K.?

No other president has such famous initials. John Fitzgerald Kennedy might actually be better known by his intials than his real name.

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Who is W.J.C.?

He was "Bill" to most people, but he was also called "William Jefferson Clinton" a lot, too, in the manner that your mother uses when she knows you've done something wrong and she's sure you're lying about it.

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Who is H.S.T.?

He was Harry S. Truman. And you know what that "S" stood for? Absolutely nothin'.

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Who is J.E.C.?

James Earl Carter is, of course, Jimmy Carter. He grew up in fabulously wealthy peanut farming family and then became known for his humanitarian works.

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Who is D.J.T.?

In 2016, Donald John Trump squeaked out a win over Hillary Clinton to become Tweeter-in-Chief. Since then, he has tweeted. A lot.

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Who is G.H.W.B.?

He was never "H.W." until his son got into office, and then everyone had to find a way to distinguish between the two. He's George Herbert Walker Bush.

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Who is R.W.R.?

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the man of the Eighties. He's remembered for his anti-Communist rhetoric and his trickle-down economics.

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Who is L.B.J.?

Like his predecessor, JFK, LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson) was often known by his initials. Crass and pragmatic, he was a major ally with Civil Rights-era groups in the Sixties.

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Who is D.D.E.?

It's a stout American name if I've ever heard one: Dwight David Eisenhower. And he led Allied forces in some of their greated European battles in WWII.

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Who is R.M.N.?

Richard Milhous Nixon was the only American president forced to resign from office. Thus, he forever blackened the already-questionable name "Milhous."

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Who is F.D.R.?

His intials -- like his time in office, are iconic. FDR was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and he steered American through the rocky hazards of the Great Depression and WWII.

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Who is G.R.F.?

He was Gerald Rudolph Ford. And in a manner that reeked of political slime, he immediately pardoned Richard Nixon of all wrongdoing he "might" have committed while in office.

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Who is T.R.?

Theodore Roosevelt was a man so powerful that he didn't need a middle name. And if you called him "Teddy" in person, he might never speak to you again.

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Who is A.L.?

Abraham Lincoln kept the Union from falling apart. And for his epic efforts, he was assassinated just before the Civil War's end.

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Who is H.C.H.?

Herbert Clark Hoover was the unlucky man in charge when the full force of the Great Depression struck. Camps of impoverished people were called "Hoovervilles."

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Who was T.W.W.?

Thomas Woodrow Wilson campaigned partly on promises of keeping America out of the quagmire of WWI. Then, almost immediately after the election, he decided to send troops into the fray.

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Who is W.M.?

William McKinley didn't have a middle name. He didn't have much time in office, either -- he was shot and killed six months into his second term.

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Who is W.G.H.?

Warren Gamaliel Harding was a very popular president, for a while, anyway. But huge scandals and news of adultery later emerged, and people started wondering why they ever voted for a guy named "Gamaliel" to begin with.

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Who is "G.W."?

George Washington. If you missed this one, your flight back to Moscow is waiting.

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Who is J.C.C.?

John Calvin Coolidge's nickname was "Cool Hand Luke," and we totally made that up. Coolidge is mostly known for pretty much doing nothing of importance.

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Who is "J.A."?

He was the second president of the U.S. -- John Adams. And he was the political equivalent of a heat-seeking missile, constantly seeking out conflicts with his peers.

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Who is W.H.T.?

William Howard Taft was a U.S president, and we bet you can't name a single thing he accomplished while in office. But the guy had a tremendous handlebar mustache.

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Who is "T.J."?

Thomas Jefferson was a renaissance man turned politician, an icon of the Revolution, a master of the written language, and an intellectual giant with few peers in the history of the world. He also made babies with his slaves.

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Who is A.J.?

Andrew Jackson once killed a man in a duel. He took his combative nature right into office, too, where he was a popular president.

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Who is U.S.G.?

Whe he was a young man, Hiram Ulysses Grant applied to West Point … and the Representative who offered a letter of recommendation wrote down his name incorrectly: Ulysses S. Grant. Due to military rules, the young Grant wasn't able to change the record, so he simply adopted the name as his own going forward.

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Who is "J.M."?

James Madison was the fourth president of the U.S. He was a primary force behind the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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Who is J.T.?

John Tyler is one of the most forgettable presidents in American history. He led the country to, uh, what were we talking about?

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Who is Z.T.?

Zachary Taylor was the twelfth president of the U.S. He died just 16 months into his term from a terrible illness and wound up as an obscurity.

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