- 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 snel, quick (from Old High German) + Middle High German geist, spirit (from Old High German)
Source: Yahoo Dictionary
Can it just be serendipity that this word turns up when I'm thinking about the utter hopelessness of trusting the political process to fix anything in this country? Or is there some hidden hand at work?