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snake oil

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noun
  1. any of various liquid concoctions of questionable medical value sold as an all-purpose curative, especially by traveling hucksters.
  2. Slang. deceptive talk or actions; hooey; bunkum: The governor promised to lower taxes, but it was the same old snake oil.
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Origin of snake oil

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30
Related formssnake-oil, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Idioms and Phrases with snake oil

snake oil

see under banana oil.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.