Thursday, August 11, 2011

Snollygoster

Definition: (from thefreedictionary.com)
-noun
1. slang. one, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles

Examples:
"That politician is a snollygoster; he would do anything to get reelected even if it would harm his constituents."
"You knowingly charged me way too much for this car! You are a dirty snollygoster!"

Origin: (from word-detective.com)
"The most likely origin of 'snollygoster' is another, very similar, word — 'snallygaster.' From the German 'schnelle (quick)' plus 'geister (spirits),' a 'snallygaster' was a mythical monster (a giant reptilian bird, according to one source) said, among residents of Maryland, to attack and eat livestock as well as the occasional child. Just how Maryland’s version of Rodan came to be associated with avaricious politicians is anyone’s guess, but the resemblance of 'snollygoster' to 'snallygaster' is too striking to ignore."

Awkwardness rating: 9
A snollygoster or a giant reptilian bird? (leetaru.com)

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