Uncle Sam

DEFINITION of 'Uncle Sam'

A nickname dating back to 1812 used to refer to the U.S. government. The term is said to come from "Uncle Sam" Wilson, who provided barrels of beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. The barrels were stamped "U.S." to indicate that they were government property, but they came to be associated with Wilson's nickname, and eventually "Uncle Sam" became a nickname for the U.S. government.

BREAKING DOWN 'Uncle Sam'

The most popular visual representation of Uncle Sam is a cartoon image drawn by James Montgomery Flagg in 1916 of a white-haired, bearded, Caucasian male dressed in a patriotic top hat and jacket for a U.S. Army recruitment poster with the words "I Want You." The term is commonly used by financial writers, often in conjunction with discussions of income taxes.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Japan Inc.

    A nickname for the corporate world of Japan that came about during ...
  2. Old Lady

    An eighteenth century nickname for the Bank of England. The full ...
  3. Tiger Economy

    A nickname given to the economies of Southeast Asia. Some of ...
  4. Donee Beneficiary

    A person who is considered a non-party in a contract but still ...
  5. Two Name Paper

    A nickname assigned to trade paper. Both Trade Acceptances and ...
  6. Price Per Flowing Barrel

    A metric used to determine the value of a oil and gas company. ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    How Does a Collar Work?

    Collar refers to a protective options strategy that investors use after a stock has experienced substantial gains.
  2. Investing News

    Will Boston Beer Toast an Earnings Beat? (SAM)

    All it may take is a "less bad" quarter Thursday for SAM shares to create some bubbles.
  3. Savings

    Business Model Analysis: Costco Vs. Sam's Club (WMT, TGT)

    Costco and Sam’s Club have very similar business models, but which one is faring better?
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Sam Walton Biography

    Sam Walton was an American retail tycoon and entrepreneur who founded Walmart and Sam's Club big-box discount stores that have changed the way Americans buy goods, as well as the American business ...
  5. Investing Basics

    What Can an Investor Learn from DuckTales?

    "DuckTales" told the story of Scrooge McDuck. Are there any lessons for an adult investor you might have missed as a child?
  6. Investing Basics

    Explaining Interest Rate Risk

    Interest rate risk is the risk that investments already held will lose market value if new investments with higher interest rates enter the market.
  7. Investing

    Meet The Advisors To The Richest People In The U.S

    Celebirty financial advisors to the rich can offer important money lessons anyone can learn — as well as a whole host of mistakes to avoid.
  8. Investing

    Sam Walton: Introduction

    Sam Walton was an American retail tycoon and entrepreneur who founded Walmart and Sam's Club big-box discount stores, which have changed the way Americans buy goods, as well as the American ...
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Risks Associated With Government Contracts

    Government contracts can be rewarding, but they also come with a variety of risks.
  10. Taxes

    You'd Be Rich If You Were Taxed Like a Multinational

    Oh, the money you'd save. Something to think about as you fill out your own taxes, which aren't getting a tax holiday from Uncle Sam anytime soon....
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can you use your Walmart credit card at Sam's Club?

    Learn how you can use a Walmart credit card at Sam's Club. Sam's Club also takes a variety of other payments and has many ... Read Answer >>
  2. Sam and Betty are a married couple with two children ...

    The correct answer is B) Many questions of this nature are open to interpretation, but in this case, the couple appears to ... Read Answer >>
  3. My uncle died recently. He designated my mother and father as his beneficiaries in ...

    It depends. If the retirement plan is a qualified plan, then the plan administrator would refer to the plan document to determine ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are some examples of "pork barrel politics" in the United States?

    Learn the meaning of the term "pork barrel politics" and explore examples of the practice throughout American politics since ... Read Answer >>
  5. Who or what are the turtles?

    The "turtles" was a nickname given to a group of traders who were a part of an experiment run by two famous commodity traders. ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is Bernard Baruch's most lasting legacy?

    Using his financial success to influence society, Bernard Baruch served as a trusted adviser to United States presidents ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Reverse Mortgage

    A type of mortgage in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the mortgage ...
  2. Labor Market

    The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employees provide the supply and employers the demand. ...
  3. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  4. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  5. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  6. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
Trading Center