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boodlerism, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: boodler n., -ism suffix.
slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.). Now hist. and rare.

  The behaviour or practices of a boodler (boodler n. 2); bribery and corruption in public life; misappropriation or embezzlement of public funds. Cf. boodleism n. at boodle n.1 Derivatives.

1887   Weekly Detroit Free Press 12 Mar. 4/6   Some of the largest house furnishing firms have shut down on this species of boodlerism.
1890   Public-school Jrnl. Oct. 86/1   It is said that in these late years there has been some improvement, and that boodlerism ranks now among their lower vices.
1914   J. B. Corey Mem. & Personal Recoll. iii. 131   Reduce these imbeciles and we will have more money to pay our wage earners, and will secure both integrity and efficiency in public office, which boodlerism never did or will secure.
1985   D. J. Hogan Class & Reform i. 42   Boodlerism revealed not only the corruption of city aldermen but the rapacious greed and the unbridled monopolistic powers of the utility companies.

1887—1985(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2018).