1. A Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War for political or financial advantage.
2. An outsider, especially a politician, who presumptuously seeks a position or success in a new locality.
[So called because they carried their belongings in carpetbags.]
(click for a larger image)carpetbagger
colorized 1872 cartoon by Thomas Nast depicting Senator Carl Schurz (1820-1906) as a carpetbagger
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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