What is an English phrase or idiom with a negative connotation for "an outsider, most probably a non-politician, suddenly comes from nowhere and takes control of a political situation because the real political players are less intelligent or less wise"?

Please, realize that this is not a coup d’état.

I am translating something from my native language to English. My native language has a similar phrase: উড়ে এসে জুড়ে বসা.

I am looking for a verb, not a noun.

  • What is C2-level English? Standard dictionaries and grammars don't seem to include this designation.
    – DW256
    May 7 at 7:11
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    Oh, in that case your question might be better on ELL, our sister site that caters to learners.
    – DW256
    May 7 at 7:16
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    @Mari-LouA Perhaps the asker should have simply requested the word without mentioning a second language learner specific exam then. If special leaner-specific knowledge is required to answer the question, then it belongs on ELL which is, according to the help center, for "people who are learning or teaching English as a foreign language" not ELU which, according to the help center, is for "linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts", most of whom are likely neither familiar with, nor keen to become familiar with, whatever C2-level English is or is not.
    – DW256
    May 7 at 9:22
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    There is an array of non-native speakers who participate on EL&U by asking and answering questions. I'm not saying this question is a good fit, or that it is particularly helpful to future visitors, I'm suggesting that @user366312 is free to participate here. Moreover, their question is far from being basic or at beginner level.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 7 at 9:37
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    @EdwinAshworth I believe Parachute in is a reference to the WWII coupe de main at Pegasus Bridge. But coupe de main doesn't verb well.
    – Phil Sweet
    May 7 at 17:27

3 Answers 3


I believe there are no verbs that completely carry that description, but the following one possibly come closest:


to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right:
The pretender tried to usurp the throne.

Your description can be summarized by speaking of a foreign usurper (assuming a position of power is the kind of "political situation" you're talking about).

  • @user366312 As a noun, and based on what I was able to translate from the Bengali phrase you linked, "opportunism" may come close, as well.
    – Joachim
    May 7 at 11:45

A supplanter (noun) supplants (verb). In other words, he or she--through intrigue, underhanded tactics, force, scheming, or strategy takes the place of another. See https://www.thefreedictionary.com/supplant).

Jacob, one of the patriarchs of old, was the fraternal twin of his slightly older brother Esau. Though Esau, as the older, was entitled to the firstborn's portion of his father's inheritance, Jacob, through trickery and lying, received his father Isaac's blessing (see Genesis Chapter 27).

Clearly, Jacob more than lived up to his name when he supplanted his older brother. The supplanting began at birth (see Genesis 25:26) and continued throughout his--and his brother Esau's--life.

The Lord said to . . . [Rachel, when she was pregnant with Jacob and Esau:]

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.


"They're taking over the reins" https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20the%20reins

In the sense of driving a Horse and Carriage

Or, to emphasise the fact that it's an outsider: "They're muscling in"

As a metaphor for pushing in physically using shoulders https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muscle%20in

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