hanky-panky

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Possibly a corruption of the Romani expression hakk'ni panki ("great trick", "big con" and hence "shady dealings").[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

hanky-panky ‎(uncountable)

  1. Mischievous behaviour, dishonest or shady activity.
    I think there was some hanky-panky with the last election.
  2. Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity, especially if illicit.
  3. A debaucherous act; a sexual act that is considered inappropriate.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ William Lindsay Gresham, Monster Midway, a book about circus life and side-shows (published by Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1954); some of the chapters in this book appeared as articles in the following magazines: Collier's Weekly, Life, Esquire, True, and The American Weekly. Reference copied from Hokkani boro.