I was bamboozled


I was tricked

TRANSLATION

bamboozle = beschwindeln, hereinlegen, tricksen, übers Ohr hauen; verwirren

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

Nobody knows "fake news" better than Alan Abel.

He pretty much invented it. The man has spent much of his 80-some years finding outrageously strange and clever ways to BAMBOOZLE the media.

In 1959, when he was a young man, Abel founded the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. The group’s slogan:

"A nude horse is a rude horse."

The organization, which declared it a matter of moralistic urgency to make dogs and horses and other animals wear pants, was a joke, but the Today show (among other media outlets) took the bait.

Newsweek

Did you
know?

bamboozle
verb

1. to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like

2. to perplex; mystify; confound

3. to practice trickery, deception, or the like

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ORIGIN

Bamboozle is one of those words that has been occupying etymologists for over 300 years.

One thing we do know is that it was originally considered "low language," at least among such defenders of the language as British satirist Jonathan Swift, who hoped (and predicted) that it would quickly fade from the English lexicon.

The early meaning of bamboozle "to deceive by trickery," leads some to believe that it arose among the criminals of the underworld.

By 1712, it had also acquired the sense "to perplex; mystify." It is not known for certain, but this sense might have emerged under the influence of the Scottish word bumbaze (or bombaze), meaning "to confuse," which is similar in both sound and meaning.

Given the befuddling qualities of alcohol, it's not too surprising to find that, in the 1800's, bamboozle showed up on college campuses as a slang term for "drunk."

Far from sliding into obscurity, bamboozle today has left its lowly roots behind and found a secure place in the lexicon of standard English. Its very longevity stands as a reminder that you can't predict or enforce the fate of a word.

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SYNONYMS

Bamboozling is such a popular pastime that English is full of words concerned with trickery, deception, and confusion:

baffle, bamboozle, beat, befog, beguile, bewilder, bilk, bleed, bunco, burn, chisel, dumbfound, con, confound, cozen, cross, deceive, defraud, delude, diddle, do, double deal, double-cross, dupe, fast talk, finagle, fleece, flimflam, fudge, gouge, gyp, hoodwink, hose, milk, mislead, mystify, perplex, ream, rip off, rook, rope in, sandbag, scam, screw, shaft, short, skin, stiff, sucker, swindle, take, take in, take out, trick, two-time, victimise

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START AN OWAD CONVERSATION TODAY

"Hey Juergen, did you notice yesterday that over 60% of OWAD readers were bamboozled into choosing the wrong definition of 'to keep a tally'?"

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