November 16, 2016 by Stephen Bentley
Bamboozle: Word Wednesday (Improve Your Word Power)
Bamboozle – now that is a word and a half!
Merriam-Webster as usual –
verb bam·boo·zle \bam-ˈbü-zəl\
Popularity: Top 40% of words
: to trick or confuse (someone)
Full Definition of bamboozle
: to deceive by underhanded methods : dupe, hoodwink
: to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely <a quarterback bamboozled by an unexpected defense>
Examples in a sentence
<bamboozled by con men into buying worthless land in the desert>
<she’s completely bamboozled by the latest changes in the tax code>
Did You Know?
In 1710, Irish author Jonathan Swift wrote an article on “the continual Corruption of our English Tongue” in which he complained of “the Choice of certain Words invented by some pretty Fellows.” Among the inventions Swift disliked were bamboozle, bubble (a dupe), put (a fool), and sham. (Perhaps he objected to the use of sham as a verb; he himself had used the adjective meaning “false” a couple of years previously.) What all these words appear to have in common is a connection to the underworld as jargon of criminals. Other than that, the origin of bamboozle remains a mystery, but the over-300-year-old word has clearly defied Swift’s assertion that “All new affected Modes of Speech . . . are the first perishing Parts in any Language.”
Origin and Etymology of bamboozle
First Known Use: 1703
Top Facebook comment on the M-W page was this referring to an unctuous politician 🙂 –
Frank Galifianakis · Atlanta, Georgia
Donald Trump bamboozled his supporters by promising to build a wall and now, just days after the election, is already saying it may be part fence.
Like · Reply · Nov 14, 2016 5:29am
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