is someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law and politics, or is a con artist
. Shyster is a slang word
and calling someone a shyster could be considered libellous
The word is derived from the German
, "to defecate" and the English
, "one who does". Shyster is an alteration of the German scheißer
, which literally means "defecator" or an "incompetent worthless person".
There is no basis to conclude that a possible origin includes Shylock, a character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and the owner of a stall or shy in a market place.
Shyster is commonly misspelled. Common variants include schister, scheister, sheister, schyster, shister, shaista, shiester and schiester.