From Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day email:
cronyism \ KROH-nee-iz-um\ noun
: partiality to cronies especially as evidenced in the appointment of political hangers-on to office without regard to their qualifications
The newly elected governor appointed many of his old pals to prominent positions, prompting accusations of cronyism from his opponents.
Did you know?
"Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him" (Ecclesiasticus 9:10). Practitioners of cronyism would probably agree. The word "cronyism" evolved in the 19th century as a spin-off of "crony," meaning "friend" or "chum." "Crony" originated in England in the 17th century, perhaps as a play on the Greek word "chronios," meaning "long-lasting," from "chronos," meaning "time." Nineteenth-century cronyism was simply friendship, or the ability to make friends. The word didn't turn bad until the mid-20th century, when Americans starting using "cronyism" to refer to the act of playing political favorites.