"Veep” is the nickname of the vice president, from the initials V.P. The word “veep” was influenced by the 1940s popularity of the word “jeep,” often said to have been derived from the words “general purpose” and its initials G.P.
Vice President Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956) credited his children with the word “veep” in May 1949, saying “That’s what my children call me anyway.” The selection process of a vice presidential candidate is often called the “veepstakes.”
[This entry was assisted by research from Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society.]
Wikipedia: Alben W. Barkley
Alben William Barkley (November 24, 1877 – April 30, 1956) served as the 35th Vice President of the United States (1949–1953), under President Harry S. Truman. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a U.S. Representative (1913–1927) and a U.S. Senator (1927–1949) from Kentucky. He served as Senate Majority Leader from 1937 to 1947.
After an unsuccessful candidacy in the 1952 presidential election, Barkley was elected again to the U.S. Senate after defeating John Sherman Cooper in 1954. He died shortly afterwards in 1956 at age 78.
Vice President: “The Veep”
Barkley was popularly known as “the Veep”. His young grandson, Stephen M. Truitt, had suggested this abbreviated alternative to the cumbersome “Mr. Vice President.” When Barkley told the story at a press conference, the newspapers printed it, and the title stuck. Barkley’s successor as Vice President, Richard Nixon, declined to continue the nickname, saying that it had been bestowed on Barkley affectionately and belonged to him. However, the term has continued to be used as shorthand for Vice President.
From a colloquial/humorous pronunciation of the abbreviation VP.
enPR: vēp, IPA: /viːp/, X-SAMPA: /vi:p/ Rhymes: -iːp
veep (plural veeps)
1.(informal) The Vice President of the United States; the office of Vice President of the United States, especially during an election cycle where several are in the running for the nomination.
2.(informal) Any vice president (in a corporation, organization, etc.)
veep noun \ˈvēp\
Definition of VEEP
: vice president
Origin of VEEP
from v. p. (abbreviation for vice president)
First Known Use: 1949
(Oxford English Dictionary)
Forms: Also Veep.
Etymology: < the initials V.P. /viːˈpiː/ ; compare jeep n.
1949 News-Age-Herald (Birmingham, Alabama) 12 June d–24 (heading) ‘Veep’ Barkley’s name now often tied with some eligible widow’s.
1952 N.Y. Times 19 June 25/1 (heading) Woman ‘veep’ urged.
1961 Manila Times 12 Sept. 1 (heading) Veep offers self as rice czar
15 March 1949, The Record-Argus (Greenville, PA), “Washington Scene: Who’s Robbing This Train?” by George Dixon, pg. 7:
Most politicos in Washington refer to the vice president as the “V.P.”
Constant repetition has had its effect upon Vice President Barkley’s grandchildren. They have started calling their distinguished grandsire “Veep.”
11 May 1949, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 19, col. 6:
Call Him Veep
Philadelphia, Pa. (AP)—What does one call the Vice-President of the United States?
The man who ought to know—Vice-President Alben W. Barkley—suggested the word.
It is Veep.
“That’s what my children call me anyway,” Mr. Barkley said. “That’s not a bad name, is it?”
A radio commentator wanted to know whether the proper address should be Mr. President of Mr. Vice-President.
Mr. Barkley said he had been called both since he also is president of the Senate and that others still referred to him as Mr. Senator.
“Of course, some of them call me a lot of other things,” Mr. Barkley mused.
17 May 1949, Christian Science Monitor, “Barkley Likes His ‘Freedom of Action’: Vice-President Scorns Guards,” pg. 15:
“The kids call me ‘Veep.’”
Google News Archive
29 July 1949, Meriden (CT) Record, pg. 5, col. 7:
“Veep" Hints Romantically He
May Soon Crown Queen Of My Own
Culpeper, Va., July 28—(AP)—The nation’s No. 2 man, Vice President Alban (sic) W. Barkley hinted romantically today that he may soon crown “a queen of my own.”
The V.P.—or “Veep,” as he likes to be called—thus rekindled speculation that he may be contemplating a second marriage. His first wife died two years ago.
American Notes & Queries
“Veep”: a short-form designation for “Vice President”; coined by children of Alben Barkley (Time, May 23, 1949).
Wikipedia: Veep (TV series)
Veep is a 2012 HBO television comedy series set in the office of a fictional U.S. vice president. The program is created by Armando Iannucci and uses the same cinéma-vérité production style as his BBC television political satire The Thick of It. After a 2011 pilot written by Iannucci and Simon Blackwell, the series was commissioned for a full season. The series premiered on HBO on April 22, 2012, and will be shown in the UK on Sky Atlantic in June.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, April 28, 2012 • Permalink