- any of the Northern politicians or adventurers who went South to take advantage of unsettled conditions after the Civil War: contemptuous term with reference to the luggage they used in traveling light
- any politician, promoter, etc. from the outside whose influence is resented
- A Northerner who went to the South after the Civil War for political or financial advantage.
- An outsider, especially a politician, who presumptuously seeks a position or success in a new locality.
Origin of carpetbaggerSo called because they carried their belongings in carpetbags.
colorized 1872 cartoon by Thomas Nast depicting Senator Carl Schurz (1820–1906) as a carpetbagger
- (politics, history, chiefly US) An immigrant from the Northern to the Southern States after the American Civil War of 1861–5, especially one who went South to gain political influence; hence, someone intervening in the politics of an area with which they are thought to have no real connection.
- Though he lived and worked in Los Angeles for sixteen years, the candidate for Attorney General is no carpetbagger; he was born and raised in this state and graduated from the state university.
- He's just a carpetbagger who was surprised to find that Southerns are not like the cast of The Dukes of Hazzard or Deliverance.
- (pejorative, by extension) One who comes to a place or organisation with which they have no previous connection with the sole or primary aim of personal gain, especially political or financial gain.
From carpetbag + -er.