commander-in-chief » commander and chief

Classification: English – and «» in/en

Spotted in the wild:

  • Bumpy didn’t like it, but he was a soldier in the army of the Lord. The commander and chief had spoken, so all he could do was heed and obey. (Walter Mosley, Crimson Stain, in Six Easy Pieces, Washington Square Press, New York, 2003, p. 68)
  • “We are going to be presenting a letter that deals with Kerry’s unfitness to be commander and chief that has been signed by hundreds of swift boat sailors, including most of those who served with Kerry,” O’Neill explained. (link)
  • Why would a man who was running for the office of Commander and Chief of the US Armed Forces refuse to discuss his service in the military? (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

| link | entered by Lee Rudolph, 2005/10/18 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Doug Shaw , 2005/10/24 at 10:57 pm

    commander and chief actually can be taken as a hendiadys. Just as “the furious sound” is transformed to The Sound and the Fury, we can transform The Chief Commander to The Commander And Cheif.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Julie , 2006/01/27 at 7:09 pm

    My boyfriend thought it was “Commander and Chief” until sometime last year… and he is actually in the military! I think this one is really easy to mistake because they sound so similar; if you’ve never seen it written out and you don’t know what “in chief” means in the first place, it will certainly make more sense to you this way.

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