The Ananias Club was a euphemism used by American press in 1906–07 during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, to refer to public figures that the President accused of dishonesty. The press employed the euphemism to avoid printing the word "liar."


The first recorded use of the word was employed by the press in 1906 to avoid the "short and ugly word" (liar) in connection with the "mutual accusations of inveracity" which arose between President Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina over the railroad rate bill. The phrase was adopted to describe any person President Roosevelt accused of dishonesty. The name derived from the story of Ananias, who fell dead when he lied to the apostle Peter about a financial transaction.[1]


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (February 2021)

Later uses

Franklin D. Roosevelt used the expression "Ananias Club" in his first press conference as President of the United States in reference to his policy on the use of background material provided by the White House:

Then there are two other matters we will talk about: The first is "background information", which means material which can be used by all of you on your own authority and responsibility, not to be attributed to the White House, because I do not want to have to revive the Ananias Club.


  1. ^ "ANANIAS CLUB UNIQUE IN AMERICAN POLITICS; There Never Were Any Applicants for Membership, but Many Were Nominated and All by the Colorful Colonel Roosevelt". The New York Times. 25 Nov 1923. Retrieved 5 Dec 2019.
  2. ^ "ROOSEVELT PUTS BUTLER AMES INTO THE ANANIAS CLUB". The Los Angeles Times. 15 Jan 1911.
  3. ^ "BANKER NEW MEMBER OF ANANIAS CLUB". San Francisco Chronicle. 29 Nov 1911.
  4. ^ "WHITNEY AGAINST GUILD: Democrat Was One of the First Members of Ananias Club". Boston Daily Globe. 21 July 1907. p. 4.