Origin of carpetbagger
OTHER WORDS FROM carpetbaggercar·pet·bag·ger·y, noun
Words nearby carpetbagger
MORE ABOUT CARPETBAGGER
What is a carpetbagger?
A carpetbagger is a demeaning term for a politician who runs for office in an area they have no actual ties to.
Carpetbagger is always a negative word, implying or accusing someone of exploiting a situation for personal gain.
During the U.S.’s Reconstruction period, which followed the American Civil War, carpetbagger referred to white Northerners who moved to the South to easily win political offices. Most experienced Southern politicians were either dead or would have no chance of being elected by new Republican Black voters and Northern sympathizers. White Southerners saw these candidates as trespassing opportunists.
Carpetbagger is used more generally to mean any politician seeking office in a geographic area they have no connection to, as in The native Texan running for office in California was criticized by many locals as being a carpetbagger.
Carpetbagger is also used more generally to mean any opportunistic outsider, as in The foreign celebrity was called a carpetbagger on social media after he took selfies with local disaster victims and left without helping anyone.
Example: Because the candidate had just moved to Minnesota, he was accused of being a carpetbagger and using Minnesota to get a political position.
Where does carpetbagger come from?
The first records of the term carpetbagger come from around 1865. It is Americanism that combines carpetbag, meaning “a bag made for traveling, especially one made of carpeting,” and -er, a suffix used to designate a person from a special circumstance or characteristic. Carpetbagger refers to the fact that some Northerners brought their belongings in a carpetbag when they went to run for political office in the South.
The implication of a carpetbagger is that they don’t actually care about the place and the people they would represent, while a candidate from the area would care deeply.
During Reconstruction, the American South was socially and politically unstable, and some white Northerners did go South to run for office under the Republican Party. While the Republicans did end up winning most of the Southern elections held during Reconstruction, local Southerners did regain political offices throughout most of the South.
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What are some other forms related to carpetbagger?
- carpetbaggery (noun)
What are some synonyms for carpetbagger?
What are some words that share a root or word element with carpetbagger?
What are some words that often get used in discussing carpetbagger?
How is carpetbagger used in real life?
Carpetbagger is a serious accusation when made against a politician.
I just saw somebody get called a carpetbagger on a campaign commercial lol
— T (@T_Bales93) August 3, 2020
Disappointed that another Kentucky primary election season passed without anyone being called a carpetbagger.
— Blake Spires (@RealFakeBlake) May 19, 2015
Exactly. Disingenuous at best. I wouldn’t vote for a carpetbagger.
— Diane No Last Name Anymore 🇨🇦 (@HamstersRFunny) March 10, 2021
Try using carpetbagger!
True or False?
Carpetbagger describes a politician who runs for office in an area that they were born in.
How to use carpetbagger in a sentence
Bob Smith: unbalanced, inconstant, and even more of a carpetbagger than the other guy.Sen. Bob Smith: The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave|Michelle Cottle|December 4, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The country carpetbagger has become such a regular that Kyle Coroneos has indentified three steps to career reinvention.Gwyneth Paltrow and the Rise of the Country Carpetbagger|Bryan Curtis|January 6, 2011|DAILY BEAST
An East Coast carpetbagger doesn't get away with insulting a child of California from a family with decades of public service.Maria Shriver Speaks Out|Gail Sheehy|October 30, 2010|DAILY BEAST
The two biggest hurdles executives entering politics face is being viewed as either a carpetbagger or egomaniac.Jeff Zucker for Senate?|Peter Lauria|May 5, 2010|DAILY BEAST
He was told that he was a carpetbagger, but he desperately wanted to serve the people, as I do.My Night With Sean Penn|Cindy Sheehan|October 30, 2008|DAILY BEAST
The charge of corruption laid at the door of the Negro carpetbagger governments is to a large extent true.
Tarbell in 1887 called himself a conservative carpetbagger, one who found himself in the minority.
The conference of the carpetbagger with the little Governor proved more ominous than even Norton had feared.
"You'll go down, all right—without those troops—mark my word," cried the Carpetbagger.
In vain his Carpetbagger lieutenant congratulated him on the success of his Napoleonic move.