Snollygoster. This is something many people already call many politicians, but it happens to be a nicer sounding term. This refers to a politician who does or says things for their own personal advancement instead of following their own principles. Try saying this in your next political discussion and see people’s reaction.

Interestingly enough, I only chose this word because it was Monday.  I was bored and it sounded like a fun word to start the week with.  I had no idea that it would be a word that I, and everyone around me, has been sadly and uncomfortably living with for about a half dozen years now.  Every day in the news, every conversation, every event, every up and every down …. we are surrounded by snollygosters.

I don’t actually have any other thing to add to this. Except it does not just apply to politicians, it applies to anyone who acts in such a way.  Even though i was disappointed with the actual meaning of the word, i still like how the world rolls of my tongue.

It reminded me of my favorite words from Dr. Suess.  Even some of the definitions of the Seuss words match up with snollygoster.


Gluppity-glup and schloppity shlop were the particular breeds of nasty pollutants ruining the town’s ponds in Lorax, but the oh-so-onomatopoeic words could definitely have a more positive spin by describing that satisfied sound your bathtub drain makes when it’s slurped up all the water or the sloshing noise your boots make in a hard rain. Oh the places we’ll all go with this word!

Word of the Day is ‘snollygoster’ (19th century, US): one who abandons all integrity in favour of power.


The jogg-oons of Seuss’s mind are things which “doodle around in the far desert dunes … crooning very sad tunes,” but we could totally apply this to those early morning rise-and-runners who are out and at it before we’ve even hit the second snooze.


In The Lorax, this is the name of the scary beachside shack which housed the Once-ler (also a fun ‘lil werdy-derd) and has since been replicated to astonishing accuracy. Since the place actually looked like it was physically lurking over the town, it was the perfect way to describe the home. But the phrase could also easily apply to your loitering labrador who’s staring you down for every bite at dinner. Total lerkim, that one. Or maybe it’s the hovering dad who’s staring you and your date down through the window as you say goodnight. LERKIM.


Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! introduced this three-Z creature of the wood at the tail-end of his vocab adventure, but we think “zizzer-zazzer-zuzz” can definitely sub in as the new “thingamajig.”

Snollygoster (noun)


An unprincipled but shrewd person.

One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.


with Anu Garg

If you have been wondering what word to use to describe that good-for-nothing person — a neighbor, a colleague, or a president — you are in luck. Things are going to get colorful this week, linguistically speaking. We present you with five vivid, offbeat, American words — what you do with them is up to you.         snollygoster

Of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of snallygaster, a mythical creature said to prey on poultry and children, possibly from Pennsylvania Dutch schnelle geeschter, from German schnell (quick) + Geist (spirit). Earliest documented use: 1846.
According to a Georgia editor, “A snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform, or principles, and who, whenever he wins, gets there by the sheer force of monumental talknophical assumnacy.”
“Where do you find lawyers like this snollygoster?”
Malcolm Berko; Dunkin’ Donuts May Be Full of Holes; Herald Sun with Chapel Hill Herald (Durham, North Carolina); Jun 10, 2012.

In America, anybody can be president. That’s one of the risks you take. -Adlai Stevenson, statesman (5 Feb 1900-1965)

words: zicharon; sherri; scott; oxfordeagle; richard; loriednil; reena; kathy; dale; kdd

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