Leona Helmsley syndrome

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Leona Helmsley syndrome2016-12-28T21:19:30+00:00

Leona Helmsley syndrome 

Leona Helmsley syndrome image from New Medical Terms

Leona Helmsley


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. 

References http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1667406,00.html