What does RINO stand for?

Republican in name only

RINO is an acronym that stands for “Republican in name only.” It is used to describe someone who identifies as a Republican, but does not necessarily follow the party’s core values or beliefs. It is a term used to indicate a perceived hypocrisy or lack of authenticity within the party.

The phrase “Republican in name only” has been in use since the early 20th century, but the shortened form, RINO, didn’t gain traction until the 1990s. This slang term is often used by politicians, journalists, and regular citizens who affiliate themselves with the Republican party.

RINO is commonly used in political discussions, both in-person and online, particularly on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. For instance, following the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, the term RINO was notably used by some Republicans to label others who did not support claims of election fraud. Conversely, those accused of being RINOs also used the term to describe those dividing the party.

Similarly, the term DINO, which stands for “Democrat in name only,” is used to describe Democrats who do not adhere strictly to their party’s principles.

Example for using ‘RINO’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that article about the Republican candidate?

Yeah, I did. They’re a total RINO!

I know, right? They claim to be Republican, but they don’t support conservative values.