shyster, shylock

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 17 15:02:35 UTC 2003

I looked-up ‘shyster’ in my handy Webster’s New
Collegiate (1977).  It gives the etymology as from Mr.
Scheuster, an attorney “frequently rebuked in a New
York court for pettifoggery”.  Any credence to that?

In this dictionary, 'shyster’ immediately follows
‘shylock’; if this is common in most dictionaries, it
probably reinforces an association between the two
words.  (The etymology for ‘shylock’ identifies
Shakespeare's Shylock as an usurer, not a lawyer.)

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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