In Spanish it's called "transfuguismo".

closed as off-topic by Brian Hooper, FumbleFingers, TrevorD, Kristina Lopez, Robusto Jul 25 '13 at 10:27

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  • In the case of a bishop (which is not a government office, at least in most countries), he is translated from one diocese to another. This is a technical term which also occurs in plane geometry, but it's so unusual as to be inapplicable in normal conversation. – Andrew Leach May 28 '13 at 15:50
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    It would be helpful if you explained more of the meaning of "transfuguismo", and gave examples of the sort of change in position you have in mind. – iconoclast May 28 '13 at 15:57
  • An example would be a politician who was elected on a socialist platform and ends up switching to a conservative party after taking office. – Ics May 28 '13 at 16:11
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    @Ics Edit your question. Don't add crucial information in a comment. – Andrew Leach May 28 '13 at 16:21
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about translation. – Brian Hooper Jul 24 '13 at 1:26

Most people generally just say that the politician transferred, reassigned, or something similar.

Although it seems that "transfuguismo" roughly means "turncoat" or "defector." I may be wrong, but a similar word in English is "flip-flopper" (in the case of changing opinion on a subject) or simply, a "party switcher" (in the case of changing political parties entirely).


Transfuguismo appears to refer to party switching, where a partisan politician changes his or her membership to a different party, usually for career advancement. Similar terms include crossing the floor, and in New Zealand the colorful term waka-jumping. (Crossing the floor and crossing the aisle may also refer to politicians who vote against their party leadership without necessarily changing membership, however).

There is no single word reflecting a public official's change of post; one would simply say that they had been appointed or elected to a new position as the case may be, or perhaps switched or transferred. A shakeup in which multiple executive cabinet members are moved to different positions is known as a cabinet reshuffle.

Political musical chairs is a common colloquial usage in the U.S. for the phenomenon where a vacancy in elected office results in a scramble among politicians; perhaps the retirement of a long-time senator means the governor appoints himself to that seat, leaving the lieutenant governor to become governor, and for the comptroller to announce her candidacy for lieutenant governor. It is noted particularly where term limits are in effect, turfing out career politicians in mid-career and forcing them to run for other offices, and after reapportionment/redistricting, where gerrymandering forces representatives from previously "safe" districts to compete.


Resources reassigned from one task to another are being redeployed. It seems there is some underlying nuance you are trying to include, but without more information I would say the word you need is redeployed.

  • When a governor is elected as president, you would never see a newspaper article saying that he has been "redeployed". – iconoclast May 28 '13 at 15:55
  • True enough, although in some . I understood the question to transfers/reassignments as opposed to elections/reelections, in which case I think redeployment or reassignment fits fine. – GetzelR May 28 '13 at 16:10
  • I'm hoping the person who asked can clarify what they're asking. – iconoclast May 28 '13 at 16:14
  • This is tangential, but is there anyone you could on the one hand call a "resource" and on the other an "official"? – iconoclast May 28 '13 at 16:15
  • My previous comment was accidentally submitted mid-edit. I was going to add that the word would fit were it used. If you see an official as serving the country instead of ruling it then they are certainly a resource, but yes, redeployment would be less appropriate the less the individual is seen as a resource. – GetzelR May 28 '13 at 16:17

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