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 nicknames[edit]

Robert Walpole[edit]

Full name: Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford

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

Earl of Wilmington[edit]

Full name: Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington

Henry Pelham[edit]

Full name: Henry Pelham

  • King Henry the Ninth[2]
  • Horny Henry P - the Mince-Stuffed Budgerigar[2]

Duke of Newcastle[edit]

Full name: Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

  • Hubble-Bubble[3]

Duke of Devonshire[edit]

Full name: William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire

Earl of Bute[edit]

Full name: John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute

George Grenville[edit]

Full name: George Grenville

  • Gentle Shepherd[5]
  • The Spodulator[5]

Marquess of Rockingham[edit]

Full name: Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham

Earl of Chatham[edit]

Full name: William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

  • The Great Commoner[6]

Duke of Grafton[edit]

Full name: Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton

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

Lord North[edit]

Full name: Frederick North, Lord North

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

Earl of Shelburne[edit]

Full name: William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne

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

Duke of Portland[edit]

Full name: William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland

William Pitt the Younger[edit]

Full name: William Pitt the Younger

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

Henry Addington[edit]

Full name: Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth

Baron Grenville[edit]

Full name: William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville

Spencer Perceval[edit]

Full name: Spencer Perceval

Earl of Liverpool[edit]

Full name: Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool

George Canning[edit]

Full name: George Canning

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

Viscount Goderich[edit]

Full name: Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich

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

Duke of Wellington[edit]

Full name: Duke of Wellington

  • The Iron Duke[17]
  • Europe's Liberator[17]
  • Saviour of the Nations[17]

Earl Grey[edit]

Full name: Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey

Viscount Melbourne[edit]

Full name: William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

Robert Peel[edit]

Full name: Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet

  • Orange Peel,[18] a reference to his views on Ireland.

Earl Russell[edit]

Full name: John Russell, 1st Earl Russell

  • Finality Jack[19]
  • The Widow's Mite[19]

Earl of Derby[edit]

Full name: Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby

  • Scorpion Stanley[20]
  • The Rupert of Debate[20]

Earl of Aberdeen[edit]

Full name: George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen

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

Viscount Palmerston[edit]

Full name: Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

Benjamin Disraeli[edit]

Full name: Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

William Ewart Gladstone[edit]

Full name: William Ewart Gladstone

  • Grand Old Man[23]
  • The People's William
  • God's Only Mistake Used by Disraeli as a mocking alternative to Gladstone's preferred nickname (Grand Old Man).[23]

Marquess of Salisbury[edit]

Full name:Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury

  • Bob's your uncle In reference to Salisbury's appointment of his nephew, Arthur Balfour to the position of Chief Secretary of Ireland. Balfour would later become Prime Minister.

Earl of Rosebery[edit]

Full name: Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian

  • Puddin

Arthur Balfour[edit]

Full name: Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour

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

Henry Campbell-Bannerman[edit]

Full name: Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman

H. H. Asquith[edit]

Full name: Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith

  • The Last of the Romans[28]
  • The Sledgehammer[29]
  • Squiffy[30]

David Lloyd George[edit]

Full name: David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor

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

Bonar Law[edit]

Full name: Andrew Bonar Law

  • The Unknown Prime Minister[33]

Stanley Baldwin[edit]

Full name: Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

  • The Ironmonger
  • Honest Stan
  • Uncle Stanley

Ramsay MacDonald[edit]

Full name: James Ramsay MacDonald

Neville Chamberlain[edit]

Full name: Arthur Neville Chamberlain

Winston Churchill[edit]

Full name: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

  • Winnie[37]
  • (British) Bulldog:[38] First given to him by the Russians,[39] it was a reference to his ferociousness and focus.[40]
  • Former Naval Person and Naval Person: How Churchill signed many of his telegrams to Franklin D. Roosevelt, first choosing the code name "Naval Person" and later changing it to "Former Naval Person" after he became Prime Minister.[41]

Clement Attlee[edit]

Full name:Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee

Anthony Eden[edit]

Full name: Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon

Harold Macmillan[edit]

Full name: Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton

Alec Douglas-Home[edit]

Full name: Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel

Harold Wilson[edit]

Full name: James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx

Edward Heath[edit]

Full name: Sir Edward Richard George Heath

James Callaghan[edit]

Full name: Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff

  • Big Jim[48]
  • Sunny Jim,[48] a homonym of "Sonny Jim", used to patronise an inexperienced person,[49] and to refer to his optimism. Particularly used during the Winter of Discontent in 1978-79, when Callaghan appeared out of touch and frankly unaware of the real problems people were facing at the time.

Margaret Thatcher[edit]

Full name: Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher (née Roberts)

John Major[edit]

Full name: Sir John Roy Major

  • Grey Man:[59] Major had been considered a decent but uninspiring person who was known as the "grey man" of politics. His Spitting Image puppet portrayed Major as the grey man.
  • Honest John
  • Prince of Greyness: again referencing his apparent dullness and lack of personality

Tony Blair[edit]

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

Full Name: Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

Gordon Brown[edit]

Full name: James Gordon Brown

David Cameron[edit]

Full name: David William Donald Cameron

  • Dave: Cameron is reported to be known to friends and family as 'Dave' rather than David, although he invariably uses 'David' in public.[80]
  • Dave the Chameleon: Dave the Chameleon was the British Labour Party's advertising slogan, and the basis of its political campaign, for the 2006 elections to local government.
  • Flashman: a reference to fictional upper-class bully Harry Flashman, used by Ed Miliband during a PMQs debate on reform to the NHS.[81][82]
  • Call me Dave[83]
  • Hameron:[84][85] In reference to the Piggate scandal.
  • Dodgy Dave:[86][87] This nickname was 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.[87] This came about during the Panama Papers scandal.[87]

Theresa May[edit]

Full name: Theresa Mary May (née Brasier)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  46. ^ Popularised by the fortnightly satirical magazine Private Eye.
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