Of uncertain origin. These possibilities have been suggested:
- Irish sionnachuighim (“I play the fox”).
- Spanish charada, a shortening of charranada (“trick, deceit”).
- Rhine Franconian schinägeln (“to work hard”), from the peddler's argot term Schenigelei (“work”).
- French ces manigances (“these fraudulent schemes”).
shenanigan (plural shenanigans)
- (countable) A deceitful confidence trick, or mischief causing discomfort or annoyance.
- I spotted his next shenanigan — saw it coming — and so avoided being fooled.
- (rare) singular of
shenanigans — see shenanigans