snol·​ly·​gos·​ter ˈsnä-lē-ˌgä-stər How to pronounce snollygoster (audio)
US dialect
: a shrewd, unprincipled person
Truman and Acheson seasoned their correspondence with perceptive comments about the major figures of the day. Truman lamented that Dwight Eisenhower had given in to congressional "snollygosters"—unprincipled politicians.Orme Wilson

Word History


probably alteration of snallygaster a mythical creature that preys on poultry and children

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of snollygoster was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near snollygoster

Cite this Entry

“Snollygoster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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