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Of late I've noticed that this phrase seems to be tossed around all the time especially in the context of political discussions. What does it exactly mean? For example, take a look at the following excerpt from a Facebook page:

...self-described "homeschooling, Tea Partying, conservative mother" Megan Fox (not that one)...

I have also noted various inflections of this phrase at times, e.g. "He is a tea-partier" or "She has a habit of tea-partying her way into every discussion."

What does it exactly mean? Is it just a derogatory term for GOP'ers or conservatives? Or is it something less political and more social?

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    You're looking for information on the Tea Party movement in US politics, which gets its name from the famous Boston Tea Party protest in the history of US independence. Modern "tea partiers" lie to the far right of mainstream US politics, and are known for doggedly (some would say dogmatically) adhering to the tenets of fiscal and social conservatism. The original Tea Party resisted taxation without representation, and the current movement resists, well, just taxation. – Dan Bron Nov 26 '14 at 19:33
  • See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_Party_USA – A E Nov 26 '14 at 19:39
  • @DanBron I know about the history of Boston's Tea Party; read about it in history. It's the phrase's connotation in the modern context that I was asking about. Thanks for clarifying. On a related note, if used as a verb, is it better to write tea-partier or tea-party'er? – TheLearner Nov 26 '14 at 19:40
  • On a linguistic note, I think referring to the messy tea protest in Boston as a "party" is an example of litotes. Not sure though. – Dan Bron Nov 26 '14 at 19:40
  • @Amit, I personally haven't seen it written in the apostrophe-y form. – Dan Bron Nov 26 '14 at 19:42
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You're looking for information on the Tea Party movement in US politics, which gets its name from the famous Boston Tea Party protest in the history of US independence.

Modern "tea partiers" lie to the far right of mainstream US politics, and are known for doggedly (some would say dogmatically) adhering to the tenets of fiscal and social conservatism. The original Tea Party resisted taxation without representation, and the current movement resists, well, just taxation.

On a linguistic note, I think originally, referring to the messy tea protest in Boston as a "party" was intentional irony, but I am not sure.

On the question of the orthography of the demonym: I personally haven't seen it written in the apostrophe-y form, only ever as "tea-partiers" (which again creates a light pun with "partiers" for a serious political party which is typically depicted as humorless by their opponents).

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