English

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Etymology

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From the original context of betting and casino, one chancing his luck and skill and perhaps his ability to cheat.[1]

Noun

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wheeler-dealer (plural wheeler-dealers)

  1. (informal) A shrewd political or commercial schemer, especially one who is unscrupulous; a hustler; a shady operator.
    • 1990 November 26, Ed Magnuson, Hays Gorey, “You Sold Your Office”, in Time:
      Seated at separate tables to underscore their differing levels of involvement with indicted savings and loan wheeler-dealer Charles Keating, the five were fighting to regain reputations earned in a lifetime of public service.
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Translations

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References

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  1. ^ Linda Flavell (2011) Dictionary of Idioms and their Origins, London