snake oil

(redirected from Snake-oil)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
A popular term for any substance claimed—without substantive evidence—to effectively treat one or more medical conditions

snake oil

A general informal term for a fraudulent PANACEA.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
And he underestimated the loyalty of the canny folk of Glenrothes who can spot a snake-oil salesman at 50 paces.
No match for Chinatown's snake-oil salesmen, Whitehall bureaucrats are unamused.
The reality is that Labour has at its head a true statesman with a decade of ministerial experience, while the Tories have a slick, glib snake-oil salesman.
Cranborne added: "We are being sold snake-oil by snake-oil salesmen who only want to perpetuate their hold on power.
The bid team believed that after an 18-month campaign, voters could be swayed in the last 24 hours by a snake-oil salesman (Cameron), a hairoil salesman (Beckham), and a royal who thinks 'outside right' is the position of most toilets in the North.
LEGISLATORSmust work fast and draft legislation to protect vulnerable people from quacks charlatans and snake-oil men.
Conservative means to progressive ends is the slogan of a snake-oil salesman.
Nobody would buy a cure-all off a travelling snake-oil salesman.
MICHAEL Howard increasingly resembles a snake-oil salesman.
Prezza in full harrumph is enough to split anybody's sides, as is snake-oil salesman Alan Milburn saying virtually anything.
What he could have said was that they were behaving like snake-oil salesmen, cunningly persuading a hapless public that they were selling something important.
It is an index of Blair's weakness that he cannot bring himself to repudiate the snake-oil salesman of his regime.