One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An untrustworthy or cunning person.
scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doerView synonyms
- ‘Indeed, blaming bad local governance and the existence of corrupt middlemen is like concluding that our sleeveens and gombeen-men of the 1840s were responsible for the Famine.’
- ‘Brennan glided to power as general secretary of his party during the sleeveen Taoiseachship of Jack Lynch.’
- ‘But for the sleeveen's litigious scam to work, all that is needed is for the rest of us still to trust each other just enough.’
- ‘Science is too important to be left in the hands of the sleeveen politicians that thrive in university departments.’
Mid 19th century: from Irish slibhin ‘trickster’.
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