Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Jul 19, 2016
This week’s theme
Words related to politics and elections

This week’s words
shermanesque
carpetbagger
logrolling
dog whistle
suffrage

Carpetbagger cartoon by Thomas Nast
Carpetbagger
Cartoon: Thomas Nast, 1872

Carpetbag
Carpetbag
Photo: Wikimedia

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

carpetbagger

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAHR-pet-bag-uhr)

MEANING:
An opportunistic outsider, especially a political candidate who contests election in an area while having little connection to it.

ETYMOLOGY:
In the US, the term was applied to a Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War during the Reconstruction era. Such a person typically carried his belongings in a bag made of old carpet. Earliest documented use: 1868.

USAGE:
“Unlike many of the pro-establishment candidates who have spent years in their respective districts serving residents and neighborhoods with dedication, a number of opposition candidates are carpetbaggers, who suddenly appeared in a district just before election time.”
Not a Hard Choice; China Daily (Hong Kong); Nov 23, 2015.

See more usage examples of carpetbagger in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" -Eve Merriam, poet and writer (19 Jul 1916-1992)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith