There is really no such thing as an American polecat. It is a colorful bit of slang that has been used to describe skunks, weasels, minks, and ferret–anything that smells bad and resembles a weasel or an art dealer. It is also a bit of urban slang used to describe a “pole dancer” in a particularly low-end strip joint.
There is something wholly American about this bit of slang. During the political season, I heard an older resident of Akron, Ohio comment on cable news that, “Every four years these polecats come to Ohio shilling for the Democrats or Republicans and try to scare everyone into voting for their party’s slimy imbecile. What a load of horse shit.”
This piece is for that guy who knew a skunk when he saw one.