A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for a night…” (joke) (3/23)
“Why are women and children evacuated first?” (joke) (3/23)
“I’ll have a rum and coke” (joke) (3/23)
“I’ve had so much coffee today I can see noises” (3/23)
“The most dangerous drinking game is seeing how long I can go without coffee” (3/23)
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Entry from January 19, 2012
Snollygoster

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wiktionary: snollygoster
Etymology
19th century American English. Possibly from snallygaster, a mythical beast that preys on poultry and children, possibly from Pennsylvania Dutch schnelle geeschter, from German schnell, quick + geist, spirit.
Noun
snollygoster
(plural snollygosters)
1.(slang, obsolete) A shrewd person not guided by principles, especially a politician.

The Free Dictionary
snol·ly·gos·ter (snl-gstr)
n. Slang
One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.
[Perhaps alteration of snallygaster, a mythical beast said to prey on poultry and children, perhaps from Pennsylvania Dutch schnelle geeschter : Middle High German snl, quick (from Old High German) + Middle High German geist, spirit (from Old High German).]

(Oxford English Dictionary)
snollygoster, n.
Etymology:  Perhaps connected with snallygaster n., which is, however, of more recent appearance.
U.S. dial. and slang.
A shrewd, unprincipled person, esp. a politician. Also in other more or less fanciful uses (see quots.).
1846 Commonwealth (Frankfort, Kentucky) 7 Apr. 2/6 Now here I am a rale propelling, double revolving locomotive Snolly Goster, ready to attack anything.
1863 D. D. Emmett Black Brigade (song) 5 We am de snolly-gosters, An’ lubs Jim Ribber oysters.
1895 Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch 28 Oct. 4/3 A Georgia editor kindly explains that ‘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’.
1912 Dial. Notes 3 590 Snolly-goster, a shyster.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Thursday, January 19, 2012 • Permalink