Difference between ‘cronyism’ and ‘nepotism’?

Both words are used to show disapproval. If you are accused of nepotism, then you use your position to promote or help the members of your family; it is favouritism based on kinship. The word comes from the Latin ‘nepos’ meaning ‘nephew’.

*Prema got the job because of nepotism — her father is the CEO of the company!

The word ‘crony’ (rhymes with ‘pony’ and ‘Tony’) is used to refer to a friend with whom you spend a lot of time. When you accuse someone of cronyism, what you mean is that the person is using his official position to help his friends.

*Bush and Cheney have often been accused of cronyism.

 Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – July 16, 2007 


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