hornswoggle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown, 1829 US,[1] jocular coinage like contemporary absquatulate.[2] Presumably horns + waggle with humorous faux ablaut or combination with wobble (compare later woggle, 1923), perhaps inspired by lassoed steers trying to escape by moving their head.[3][2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

hornswoggle (third-person singular simple present hornswoggles, present participle hornswoggling, simple past and past participle hornswoggled)

  1. (transitive) To deceive or trick.
    Don't let them hornswoggle you into buying anything you don't need.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ hornswoggle” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hornswoggle”, World Wide Words, Michael Quinion, 30 Oct. 2004.
  3. ^ A Dictionary of the Old West, Peter Watts