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'Let's Go Brandon' explained: A look at the phrase that became code for criticizing Biden

Here's how these three words have quickly become an anti-Biden meme among conservatives.
President Biden Campaigns For Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe
The phrase began making the rounds in October following a race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. It on as a euphemistic insult to the president, and quickly began popping up everywhere.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

It’s been chanted at football games, printed on T-shirts and repeated by U.S. politicians — but what exactly is the meaning of the viral slogan “Let’s Go Brandon”?

The phrase began making the rounds in October following a race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. NASCAR driver Brandon Brown was being interviewed by NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast as the crowd behind him chanted something difficult to make out.

Stavast suggested that the crowd was saying, “Let’s go, Brandon!” However, it later became apparent that the crowd was shouting, “F--- Joe Biden.”

The phrase caught on as a euphemistic insult to the president, and it quickly began popping up everywhere.

"Let's Go Brandon," seen here on a sign at a college football game, is used as shorthand to insult President Biden.Joshua Bessex / AP

A “Let’s Go Brandon” sign appeared at a recent Boston College vs. Syracuse college football game.

A new song by Bryson Gray called “Let’s Go Brandon,” one of multiple musical tributes to the anti-Biden meme, also bumped Adele’s new hit, “Easy On Me,” out of the top spot on iTunes for a time last month.

The phrase has been printed on hats, T-shirts, and other merchandise.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The phrase has also been used by multiple politicians, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who have both shared the slogan on Twitter.

Jeff Duncan, a Republican congressman from South Carolina, also shared a photo wearing a mask with the viral phrase.

A Southwest Airlines pilot is also facing an internal investigation for allegedly saying, “Let’s go, Brandon,” over the intercom during a flight from Houston to Albuquerque last week.

A first responder carries a sign reading "Our Body Our Choice Let's Go Brandon" before a press conference about vaccine mandates and first responders at the U.S. Capitol on Monday.Graeme Sloan / Sipa USA via AP

Some gun dealers are even using the phrase to market weapon parts. Retailers such as Culper Precision and My Southern Tactical are selling AR-15 magazines printed with the words “Let’s Go Brandon.”

“It's been embraced by Republican politicians,” NBC News national security and intelligence correspondent Ken Dilanian said on TODAY. “But now it's being used to sell guns and ammunition. And that really worries law enforcement officials.”

The White House nor the Secret Service responded to NBC News' request for comment.

“There are some who say that part of the popularity of this whole ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ thing comes from people who like using a code to basically troll Democrats. But who knows how long its shelf life will be,” NBC News senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson also reported on TODAY. “You have one Republican aide who described the phrase to NBC News as an ‘annoying boomer meme’ that's ‘getting past its due date.’ We’ll see.”