Wednesday Words & Phrases: Carpetbagger



Carpertbagger is not a term heard much anymore. In this day and age of small businesses being taken over by big ones it still has meaning.

The term “carpetbagger” entered the American language after the Civil War. Northerners would go south to take advantage of the poor economic state of the region. They would come in fast with just their grasp bag. Which was made out of carpet material, and a wad of cash. They would then go and buy up businesses that were bankrupt or headed that way or plantations that were on the verge of collapse.

These men were not very popular and were targets of the KKK and other Southern groups. The term was also applied to Northern politicians that were sent/came south to take up government jobs.

In the modern vernacular the term has come to be used for politicians that represent one area while living in another. Like someone becoming the Senator for New York without having lived there much before the election. It has also been used to describe someone who purchases a struggling business in an area without having any ties or knowledge with the area.