tin-pot dictator

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See also: tinpot dictator

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From tin pot (cheap metal disposable container) +‎ dictator.

Noun[edit]

tin-pot dictator (plural tin-pot dictators)

  1. An autocratic ruler with little political credibility, typically having delusions of grandeur.

Usage notes[edit]

Although still used today, this is a pejorative term coined in the days of the British Empire, when it referred to the Victorian innovation of the tin pot, an inexpensive metal container, the forerunner of the tin can. Though neither the tin-can nor tin pots are used today due to their toxicity, the term is still apt.

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