It stands for Grand Old Party and the moniker stems from the second half of the 1800s, around the same time that the party began using an elephant as its logo.
The party was initially called the Democratic-Republican Party, but in the 1830s, divisions within the group began to emerge and in the 1850s, a stand-alone Republican Party emerged.
At that time, it mostly consisted of abolitionists working to end slavery in the South.
Following the Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865, the Republicans increased their power with the election of President Benjamin Harrison in 1888 and a congressional majority.
A Chicago Tribune writer wrote that the election was a major victory for the “Grand Old Party” as a way to reference the Republicans.
The phrase was soon shortened to GOP and it began to be used in articles about the party.
But the acronym may in fact go back to 1875, when “gallant old party” was a way to refer to the Republicans, AL.com noted.
A 2011 poll found that only 51 per cent of Republicans knew what GOP stood for.
Thirty-five per cent thought it stood for “Government of the People,” according to a Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll at the time.
Another seven per cent voted for the option “Grumpy Old People,” while three per cent said “God’s Own Party” and one per cent said “Gauntlet of Power”.
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