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Leona Helmsley syndromeJoe Segen2016-12-28T21:19:30+00:00
Leona Helmsley syndrome
PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIAL MEDICINE
A popular term for an arrogant and/or inflated sense of superiority adopted by a person in a position of wealth, power, or authority.
The term obtains from Leona Helmsley (1920-2007), widely known by her subordinates as the Queen of Mean (as defined in American English, i.e., vicious, ruthless), who famously sneered, We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes. She later spent 18 months in federal prison for tax evasion (apparently the IRS was not amused by her arrogance). While the term fills a lexical void, it is obviously not a real syndrome.