Shyster


Shyster

A shyster (pron-en|ˈʃaɪstər) is someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law and politics, or is a con artist. Shyster is a slang word and calling someone a shyster could be considered libellous. [cite web |url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shyster|title=Shyster |accessdate=2008-08-30 |work= |publisher=Merriam-Webster |date= ]

Etymology

The word is derived from the German verb "scheissen", "to defecate" and the English suffix "-ster", "one who does". Shyster is an alteration of the German "scheißer", which literally means "defecator" or an "incompetent worthless person". [cite web |url=http://www.answers.com/topic/shyster |title=Shyster |accessdate=2008-08-30 |work= |publisher=Answers.com |date= ]

There is no basis to conclude that a possible origin includes Shylock, a character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and the owner of a stall or shy in a market place. [cite web |url=http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-shy1.htm|title=Shyster |accessdate=2008-08-30 |work=Michael Quinion |publisher=World Wide Words |date= ]

Common misspellings

Shyster is commonly misspelled. Common variants include schister, scheister, sheister, schyster, shister, shaista, shiester and schiester.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • shyster — shys‧ter [ˈʆaɪstə ǁ ər] noun [countable] informal a dishonest person, especially a lawyer * * * shyster UK US /ˈʃaɪstər/ noun [C] US INFORMAL ► a dishonest person, especially a lawyer: »He called Greene a shyster who lied, cheated, and… …   Financial and business terms

  • Shyster — Shy ster, n. [Perh. from G. scheisse excrement.] A trickish knave; one who carries on any business, especially legal business, in a mean and dishonest way. [Slang, U.S.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shyster — unscrupulous lawyer, 1843, U.S. slang, probably altered from Ger. Scheisser incompetent worthless person, from Scheisse shit, from O.H.G. skizzan to defecate (see SHIT (Cf. shit)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • shyster — [n] unscrupulous lawyer; swindler ambulance chaser, cheater, chiseler, crooked lawyer, mouthpiece*, pettifogger, scammer, trickster, unethical lawyer; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • shyster — ► NOUN informal ▪ a person, especially a lawyer, who uses unscrupulous methods. ORIGIN said to be from Scheuster, the name of a lawyer …   English terms dictionary

  • shyster — ☆ shyster [shī′stər ] n. [earlier shuyster, prob. altered < Ger scheisser, defecator] Slang a person, esp. a lawyer, who uses unethical or tricky methods; pettifogger …   English World dictionary

  • Shyster — Basisdaten Land UdSSR russ. Bezeichnung R 5 Alternative Namen SS 5 Shyster, 8K51 Klasse Mittelstreckenrakete Nutzlast Eine Ladung, 1.350 kg (N), 1.500 kg (HE) Gefechtskopf Nuklear 30 kT, Hochexplosiv Länge 20,80 m Durchmesser 1,65 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • shyster — UK [ˈʃaɪstə(r)] / US [ˈʃaɪstər] noun [countable] Word forms shyster : singular shyster plural shysters mainly American informal a dishonest businessman, lawyer, or politician …   English dictionary

  • shyster — [“Jaista* ] n. an unethical or unscrupulous lawyer. (Also a rude term of address.) □ Look, you cheap shyster, I paid you to help me, not ruin me! □ My ex wife’s shyster called again today to say she wants more money …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • shyster — [19] Shyster ‘unscrupulous lawyer’ originated in the USA in the 1840s. It is generally supposed to come from the name of one Scheuster, a New York lawyer of that era who was constantly being rebuked by judges for his sharp practices. An… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins


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