Lobbyists by another name?

The U.S. Capitol stands illuminated at night in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. The House scrapped a vote tonight on a fiscal plan that contains almost none of Republicans' initial conditions for ending the 15 day-old government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling said Representative Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Rules Committee. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The American League of Lobbyists is changing its name to remove the offending word “lobbyist.”

They considered “Association of Government Relations Professionals” and “National Association of Government Relations Professionals,”  before settling on the former, reports our colleague Holly Yeager, titles that presumably won’t bring to mind the stereotypical (shh…) lobbyist, that oily gladhander who goes around buying off politicians with paper sacks of $50s.

The move reminds us of when the Association of Trial Lawyers of America changed its name to the American Association for Justice back in 2006.

But in this case, why not take it a step further and simply replace the word “lobbyist” altogether with something fresher, something with less stigma?

We first thought of “foyerist,” as “foyer” is a fancier name for a lobby. Turns out, that one’s already taken. Seems the moniker is used to describe interior-design fans who like to peer into other people’s windows to admire their color schemes and such. (It’s a play on voyeur, get it?)

Funny, we thought those were Peeping Toms. But perhaps the Toms of the world took umbrage.

Maybe they hired a lobbyist?

Anyway, we’re on the hunt for a better word. Something better than “government relations professional,” which is both a snooze and a mouthful.  Got a suggestion? Leave a comment below, or e-mail us at intheloop@washpost.com.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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Emily Heil · October 16, 2013

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