Sheeple (a portmanteau of "sheep" and "people") is a term in which people are likened to sheep, a herd animal. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research.
The label originated in the United States, and designates people who tend to accept and take statements at face value, especially if it is cited in mainstream media or religion. "The Wall Street Journal first reported the label in print in 1984; the reporter heard the word used by the proprietor of an American Opinion bookstore affiliated with the John Birch Society. In this usage, taxpayers were derided for their blind conformity as opposed to those who thought independently. Shortwave radio host Milton William Cooper used the term commonly during his Hour of the Time radio show during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The label had been used by authors of fiction: as a title for Canada's ex-MP Garth Turner's 2009 book, also in numerous other works.
The term is also used more broadly to describe any person who the speaker feels is exceedingly conformist.
The term can also be used for those who seem inordinately tolerant, or welcoming, of what can be perceived by the speaker as government overreach. In a column entitled "A Nation of Sheeple," columnist Walter E. Williams writes, "Americans sheepishly accepted all sorts of Transportation Security Administration nonsense. In the name of security, we've allowed fingernail clippers, eyeglass screwdrivers and toy soldiers to be taken from us prior to boarding a plane."
|Look up sheeple in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|