Pre-coverage of the evil presidential controversy that’s about to happen in a couple of minutes, has had references to the notorious “You’re No Jack Kennedy” line during the 1988 debate between Lloyd Bentsen and also Dan Quayle. I have known about this exchange because that a lengthy time. However for the first time ever, as soon as they talked around it ~ above the news simply now, I uncovered myself wondering…“Jack Kennedy? Why did he speak to him ‘Jack’? no most world call him John?”

I know the course that Jack is a ancient nickname because that John. Yet not everyone called John actually provides this nickname. And also I don’t recall seeing him called “Jack Kennedy” in anything the I deserve to remember other than the “you’re no Jack Kennedy” line. Even if it is it’s contemporaneous with his presidency, or stuff written or spoken decades after ~ the fact, ns feel favor Bentsen’s line is by much the most usual use that the expression Jack Kennedy. (I understand that it was Quayle who initially referred to him that means during the debate.) was he routinely described as “Jack?”

Was that, perhaps, what he to be called amongst Washington insiders, but not the basic public? to be it sometimes used to him ironically due to the fact that his mam was named Jackie? Or to be it a typical thing the average people talking around him throughout his management and the years after, would have actually said?

It’s just tangentially related, yet my ancestor and namesake john Charles smith was well-known professionally as Jack.

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He was “Jack” to his family and friends and this was extensively publicly known. Yet at the time newspaper and also broadcast reporting had quite a official tone and his forename, as soon as mentioned, would have been offered as “John”. However I suspect in colloquial decided he was often referred to as Jack Kennedy.

For part reason, there has stuck in my mind a couplet i m sorry was current in 1968, once Bobby Kennedy was seeking the autonomous nomination, which walk something like:

“Jack to be nimble, Jack to be quick.But Bobby renders me sick.”

Obviously, this was supplied by world who weren’t pan of Bobby Kennedy to compare him unfavourably through his (by then, sainted) brother. It suggests that both “Jack” and “Bobby” were existing in colloquial speech to refer to the two men.


He to be “Jack” come his family and friends and this was widely publicly known. However at the moment newspaper and also broadcast reporting had actually quite a formal tone and also his forename, as soon as mentioned, would have actually been given as “John”. But I doubt in colloquial speech he to be often dubbed Jack Kennedy.

This. ‘Jack’ to be his nickname, this was well known.

I walk a newspaper database find for Jack Kennedy fro 1959 to 1963. It returned 89,340 hits. There will certainly be plenty of duplicates in those, indigenous syndicated articles, and many false hits, from other world of that name.

But it was instantly clear that it to be an absolutely typical everyday issue for newspaper posts to describe him as Jack Kennedy all the time, both prior to he was president and during his term. He was never John Kennedy except formally. He had actually been called Jack because he an initial became known and also stayed that means until the end.

It was an extremely common. Ns don’t think I ever heard him referred to as “John Kennedy.” I check out somewhere that when he was through his family, they’d alternate between calling that “Jack” and calling him “Mr. President.” (BTW. He passed away when i was 15.)

I wasn’t old enough during his management to notification or treatment what the grownups dubbed him. But from what i have seen and heard, “Jack” has been much much more commonly used than “John” because that his very first name. Indigenous what I’ve checked out none the his girlfriend or family called him “John” in day-to-day life. Perhaps when he was small and the misbehaved, the taking place parental reprimand can have begun with “John Fitzgerald Kennedy!”, but I think that was about it.

As because that writings around JFK, i think lot depends top top context and also audience. In biographies of various members that the Kennedy family, i’ve invariably viewed him referred to as Jack. In more formal writing, he can be described as John.


Was it sometimes applied to the ironically due to the fact that his wife was named Jackie?

His mam was of named Jacqueline, not Jackie. I thrived up in the era, and as i recall castle were frequently referred to together Jack and also Jackie.

Here’s Jackie holding a newspaper announcing her husband’s nomination together “Jack,” reflecting it was typical even prior to his presidency. Here’s JFK analysis a newspaper the calls him Jack.


I walk a newspaper database search for Jack Kennedy fro 1959 come 1963. It returned 89,340 hits.

That number doesn’t mean much without some context. Ns concede that 89,340 proves that it did happen, yet it go not prove it to be “an absolutely common everyday matter”.

Could friend please search that same database because that “John Kennedy” and also “John F Kennedy” and tell united state how plenty of hits you get?

I watched the documentary on open minded Sinatra’s life and it extended his involvement with the Kennedy campaign in 1960. He recorded a jingle the was a takeoff top top “High Hopes” that described Kennedy as Jack (“Everybody’s voting for Jack / "Cause he has actually what every the remainder lack.”)

Colibri October 8, 2020, 2:36am #11

I did a newspaper database find for Jack Kennedy fro 1959 to 1963. It went back 89,340 hits.

That number doesn’t typical much without some context. I concede the 89,340 proves the it go happen, but it walk not prove that to it is in “an absolutely typical everyday matter”.

I think the does, actually.

Could friend please search that same database because that “John Kennedy” and “John F Kennedy” and tell us how countless hits girlfriend get?

Those will an extremely likely be much more common. However, the most typical name, specifically in newspaper headlines, most most likely would have been JFK.

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A lot of us ~ above this plank were alive at the time and also heard all the recommendations on radio, television, film, and also in conversation with others, all of that in addition to every one of the newspaper and also magazine articles. I think you need to take our word for it on this one, the name ‘Jack Kennedy’ was in usual use and also instantly recognized at the time.