noun – [moun-tuh-bangk]

definition: a person who deceives others, especially in order to trick them out of their money; a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc.

history: Italian montambanco, a contraction from the phrase monta im banco, meaning “one gets up onto the bench” (so as to attract attention to sell things).

synonyms: swindler, charlatan, trickster, snail oil salesman.

Quack refers to any fraudulent practitioner of medicine or law. Mountebank may imply some quackery, but more often it refers to a self-promoting person who resorts to cheap tricks or undignified efforts to win attention.

example usage:

The United States is only a nation, and we are experiencing no temptations except those that are common to man. And there is a way of escape. Stop voting for mountebanks.

Doug Wilson, more Obama nation building

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