Posted by Bob on February 23, 2000
In Reply to: GOP posted by Tomar on February 23, 2000
: : : : Why does "GOP" refer to the Republican Party?
: : : It stands for Grand Old Party, a bit of self-congratulation.
: : "G.O.P. The Grand Old Party got that name around 1880, and the expression was used derisively at first. It's unclear just who originally taunted the Republicans with that label, but it made its first appearance in print in the Louisville Courier Journal (a Kentucky newspaper) in 1887. Later on, of course, the Republicans adopted the label as their own." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1977).
: : But my question is, why was it originally used derisively?
: Probably sarcastically, mockingly.
The party was founded in 1856 (in Ripon, Wisconsin) so it wasn't Old in any sense when it acquired the nickname. And (aside from Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt) it has rarely been Grand.