Article: What does 'GOP' Stand for? Do you know? I didn't. The Wall Street Journal: "Because the short form may seem baffling (or even spin-doctored) to some new readers, we want to avoid its use in articles and headlines," says the memo. "Beginning in December, use it only in the direct quotations and then be sure to explain what GOP means. Even among people who know that GOP refers to the Republican Party, many may not know that it stands for Grand Old Party."