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4 Bizarre Presidential Nicknames

Usually, the President of the United States is an office that commands a lot of respect. The president is usually addressed as "Sir" or "Mr. President" because he holds such a powerful position in government. Sometimes, though, presidents have some pretty bizarre nicknames they are called as well, which makes them just like the rest of us. Here are four presidential nicknames you have probably never heard of (but might want to use from now on!).

Thomas Jefferson - "Long Tom"

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Thomas Jefferson, one of the original Founding Fathers of America, was referred to as "Long Tom" because he was much taller than the average man at the time. He was 6 feet, 2.5 inches tall, with "long, slender limbs," making him look stretched out and a bit gangly. This height was two inches shorter than the tallest president in history, Abraham Lincoln, but for the time, it was pretty impressive.

Grover Cleveland - "Big Steve"

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This one is a bit unfortunate: President Stephen Grover Cleveland grew up being called "Big Steve" by his neighborhood friends due to his weight. This was actually what prompted him to drop the "Stephen" from his name altogether by the time he became president. At 250 pounds, though, he couldn't escape the fat-shamers even when he was in office. When he was the governor of New York, he had the even more unfortunate nickname of "Uncle Jumbo." These heavyweight nicknames actually seemed to make him more likable to voters in the end, so he didn't feel quite so bad when his weight continued to increase and everyone continued to call him "Big Steve" throughout his presidency.

Lyndon B. Johnson - "Light Bulb Johnson"

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No, this nickname isn't because Lyndon B. Johnson helped to invent or perfect the light bulb. It is because he was so worried about saving money and electricity in the White House that he would go around at night, turning off all the lights that weren't being used (and perhaps some that were). Some historians say that this was less about good ol' Light Bulb Johnson actually being economically minded and more about him wanting to show that he was in charge of the White House. Johnson followed John F. Kennedy, one of the most popular presidents in United States history, and he had to try very hard to carve out his own unique role and persona in the office that had been left to him.

William Henry Harrison - "Old Granny"

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William Henry Harrison served a very short term as president — just 31 days — and was the first United States President to die in office. For this reason, the people who gave him the nickname "Old Granny" before his death might not have been far off the mark. Democratic detractors often called him Old Granny to call attention to the fact that Harrison was old (68), frail, and no longer in touch with what America was doing or wanted. Unfortunately, it could be said that he proved these detractors right on the second point when he didn't wear a coat to his inauguration ceremony on a cold, rainy day and caught a cold. That cold turned into pneumonia, and he died just a few weeks after becoming president. (However, some modern historians suspect Harrison actually died from enteric fever, caused by gastrointestinal pathogens in the White House water supply.)

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