from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The exchanging of political favors, especially the trading of influence or votes among legislators to achieve passage of projects that are of interest to one another.
  • n. The exchanging of favors or praise, as among artists, critics, or academics.
  • n. See birling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rolling of logs.
  • n. A concerted effort to push forward mutually advantageous legislative agendas.
  • n. Mutual recommendation of friends' or colleagues' services or products. Commonly used in the context of book recommendations in literary reviews etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of rolling logs from the place where they were felled to the stream which floats them to the sawmill or to market. In this labor neighboring camps of loggers combine to assist each other in turn.
  • n. A combining or mutual agreement in which one politician supports or assists another in consideration of receiving assistance in return; wheeling and dealing; -- sometimes used of a disreputable mode of accomplishing political schemes or ends.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A joining of forces for the purpose of handling logs:
  • n. Hence Mutual aid given by persons to one another in carrying out their several schemes or gaining their individual ends: used especially of politicians and legislators.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. act of exchanging favors for mutual gain; especially trading of influence or votes among legislators to gain passage of certain projects
  • n. rotating a log rapidly in the water (as a competitive sport)


From the early American practice of neighbors gathering to help clear land by rolling off and burning felled timber.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
log + rolling, from the practice of neighbors helping each other roll logs to build a community fire. (Wiktionary)



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