snake oil


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snake oil

A valueless or fraudulent cure, remedy, or solution. Often used in the phrase "snake oil salesman," one who sells or promotes such a product. My mom keeps giving me all of these hippie-dippie pills to help my migraines, but I think they’re just snake oil, honestly.
See also: oil, snake

snake oil

see under banana oil.
See also: oil, snake

snake oil

Snake oil is something which is sold or presented as a cure or a solution to a problem but which, in fact, has no use or value. Do vitamins really help the skin or are cosmetic companies simply promoting the latest in snake oil? Note: You can also describe someone as a snake-oil salesman, meaning that they try to sell you or persuade you to believe in snake oil. Smooth-talking snake-oil salesmen use the telephone to take money from the foolish and the greedy and then vanish. Note: In the United States, snake oil was a substance typically made from the plant snakeroot. Dishonest salesmen tried to persuade people to buy it, claiming that it was a medicine which would cure their illnesses.
See also: oil, snake
References in periodicals archive ?
The Ballad of Snake Oil Sam pays tribute to Sergio Leone's “Spaghetti Western” genre through the film's moments-in-between-moments with the actors and frontier cinematography.
Tax professionals need to shut the door on the snake oil salesmen.
Convincing gimmick-weary hardcore kids your band has anything new to offer is like selling snake oil.
Your editorial on Milton Friedman ("Voucher Venom: Don't Buy Snake Oil from Doctor Friedman," May Church & State) brought back memories.
Heartfelt testimonials from people you've never heard of are commonly used to sell all manner of snake oil.
The fact that snake oil actually does have medicinal properties is just one fascinating bit of information to be gleaned from When Healing Becomes a Crime by Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel (Healing Arts Press, $19.
The stagnation of the advice itself, along with Emperor's New Titles like The Simple Abundance Workbook (which is mostly blank pages), makes it easy to think, as many do, that self-improvement is a racket, a kind of page-bound snake oil.
Since the beginning of time charlatans, snake oil salesman and preachers have preyed upon the hopes, fears and insecurities of their fellow citizens.
They are all bunkum - snake oil merchants to a man and woman - do not believe a word.
Recalling his time at GM, Louckes says, "Over the years, I had a lot of snake oil salesmen come through the door.
He wasn't peddling snake oil or disingenuous tax cuts.
Electrical handyman Steven Tondre was a typical Internet snake oil salesman, but unlike others of his ilk, he benefited from having bigger competitors.
Farm Journal was viewed as the place to get practical, not theoretical, information on how to be a better farmer, and Atkinson didn't accept advertising for snake oil," says Hillgren.
hang sharpies, snake oil salesmen, drifters, and whores
Also included is a small bottle of bore cleaner, Dillon's of course, and little tubes of Snake Oil lubricant and grease.