banana republic

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Coined by American author O. Henry in his 1904 book of short stories, "Cabbages and Kings", set in the fictional "Anchuria", which was based on his 1896-97 stay in Honduras.


banana republic (plural banana republics)

  1. (politics, idiomatic, pejorative) A small country, especially one in Central America or the West Indies, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.
    Hypernyms: kleptocracy