Just Call Me Nostra Dumbass

In late 2003, I observed that the Mirriam Webster Dictionary was dropping the word “Snollygoster” from its dictionary, and that this must not stand: (PDF)

To Revive a Word

The word “snollygoster” has been dropped from the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

Harry Truman was among the last public figures to use this word in public, and I mean to use the word, meaning “a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician”, as often as I can.

So, over the past few years, I have engaged in a lonely effort to revive the word on this blog, and now the Merriam Webster Dictionary has brought the word back:


And as recently as Tuesday morning, Merriam-Webster staff noted they had re-added the word “snollygoster” to the dictionary. It means “a shrewd and unprincipled person, especially an unprincipled politician.”

It even found use during the contentious Brexit campaign.

I won’t claim to be responsible for this, I think that the various machinations of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have had more influence on this development, but I am feeling remarkably smug about this development.

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