snake oil salesman

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snake oil salesman

Someone who sells, promotes, or is a general proponent of some valueless or fraudulent cure, remedy, or solution. (Can also be formed as "snake oil saleswoman" if referring to a woman, or "salesperson" to be gender neutral.) I find it hard to believe anyone would fall for those snake oil salesmen on TV selling holistic medicines and therapies. A lot of people have been swayed by the presidential candidate's plan for economic growth, but if you ask me, she sounds like a snake oil saleswoman.
See also: oil, salesman, snake
References in periodicals archive ?
Either we become known by families and fellow educators as trusted and experienced resources, or we become the snake-oil salespeople of the 21st century, known for dubious promises, quack tonics, and employing anxiety to hoist our profits.