snake oil

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snake oil

A product that has been proven to not live up to the vendor's marketing hype. The term comes from the 1800s in which elixirs and potions of all kinds, even ones that supposedly included the oils from snakes, were sold as a cure for everything that ailed a person.
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Ed Bolden is hardly a snake oil salesman, but you can't blame anyone who thinks he's selling something that seems too good to be true.
Last Friday he lectured his first class at Yale University's Divinity School on behalf of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and looked every inch the snake oil salesman he indubitably is.
It is the world of the snake oil salesman, peopled by devious wide boys, slimier than a bag of eels who think they are our masters.
Back in October 2005, the day before Hearts bulleted George Burley, I watched George Foulkes put on a performance a snake oil salesman would have been proud of in the Gorgie Suite.