It’s that week-brightening time again, when a new word pops up to add a little zing. This week’s Weird – and timely- Word is snollygoster.
Our next presidential election is mere weeks away, and snollygoster refers to a dishonest politician, one especially calculating. Hmmmm….not taking sides here, but that could certainly refer to any number of semi-distinguished public servants who roam Washington, D.C.
The challenge arises in using snollygoster in a sentence, as in:
“Even though he professed to not be a crook, our 37th president was still a bit of a snollygoster, wasn’t he?”
Certainly, Nixon leads the pack of United States snollygosters, but history is rife with their shenanigans. Consider former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his infamous “bunga bunga” parties – that’s snollygosterism at its finest. Fraud, bribery, and harems of women weren’t enough for this Lothario.
Or take Boss Tweed, who controlled the Democratic Party in New York in the mid-1800s. He was gifted in political corruption, surrounding himself with lackies who helped him bilk New York of millions of dollars.
“I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him.”