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Alternative forms[edit]


Reportedly from Spanish banca, a card game.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌŋkəʊ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋkəʊ


bunco (countable and uncountable, plural buncos or buncoes)

  1. (US, slang) A swindle or confidence trick.
  2. (uncountable) A parlour game played in teams with three dice, originating in England but popular among suburban women in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.
  3. A brigand.
    • 1891, “Buncoed”, in Chamber's Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts[1], W & R Chambers, page 781:
      When they fall into the hands of the Buncoes, they sometimes do; at others, they are merely robbed or held to ransom for a time and then released again.
    • 2014, Gary Tetterington, Rebecca Faith Grossman, editor, Condition Other Than Normal: Finding Peace in a World Gone Mad[2], eBookIt.com, →ISBN:
      Furthermore, he knew of the O.M. and of how the O.M. was the smoking gun and his outrageous guilt was the key to bringing down every one of the underhanded and dishonest buncoes that were running extreme and eopidemic in Edmonton back then.

Derived terms[edit]


bunco (third-person singular simple present buncos, present participle buncoing, simple past and past participle buncoed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, US, slang) To swindle (someone).
    • 1910, Erwin Rosen, In the Legion[3], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2012:
      They felt very sorry (so they said) for the poor old eleventh company having been buncoed into taking such an awful pack of useless recruits.