mountebank


a charlatan

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Yesterday a MOUNTEBANK, a man with no obvious qualification for holding public office, resigned (Boris Johnson). Yesterday, a man of decency and honour died. He also resigned. Both were foreign secretary – but only one of them is deserving of respect. RIP Peter Carington.”

Heather Stewart, Dan Sabbagh, Jessica Elgot – The Guardian (9 Jul 2018)

Did you
know?

mountebank
noun

- a person who tries to trick people, especially in order to get their money

- someone who pretends to be someone or something that they are not, or to be able to do something that they cannot

Oxford Dictionaries / The Cambridge Dictionary


WORD ORIGIN

In Samuel Johnson’s words, a “mountebank” is “a doctor that mounts a bench in the market, and boasts his infallible remedies and cures”.  From the 1570s, mountebank is derived from Italian montambanco, from monta “to mount” + banco “bench” (from a Proto-Germanic source bankon).


IMPOSTER EXTRAORDINAIRE

Frank Abagnale Jr. is the true-story inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film “Catch Me if You Can”.

Abagnale Jr. began his career as an imposter when he learned how to forge cheques and convince bank tellers to cash them. Later, he conned his way into becoming a pilot for Pan Am airlines, flying all over the world for free. He stayed in luxurious hotels, bought expensive cars, and consistently fooled the FBI.

After his time as a pilot, Abagnale Jr. posed as a doctor and secured a job managing interns. He then claimed he was a lawyer, going as far as to pass the extremely difficult Bar exam.

Finally, Abagnale Jr. was arrested in Paris by the FBI and served time in prison. He was considered an expert in forgery and bank fraud and was later hired as a consultant by the FBI. He now owns his own security company.


SYNONYMS
a person who sells by deception

bamboozler, beguiler, bilker, cardsharp, charlatan, cheat, chiseler, con-artist, confidence man/operator/trickster, con man, double-dealer, duper, fabricator, fake, fibster, finagler, fink, fleecer, flimflammer, fraudster, gouger, grifter, Holy Willie, hoodwinker, huckster, imposter, impostor, Judas, knave, Machiavellian, machinator, masquerader, MOUNTEBANK, phoney, play actor, pretender, quack, racketeer, rat, rip-off artist, scam artist, scammer, scoundrel, sham artist, shark, sharpster, slyboots, smoothie, smooth operator, snake in the grass, spinner of yarns, swindler, trickster, two-timer, wheeler-dealer, wolf in sheep’s clothing


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“I guess we all meet our fair share of MOUNTEBANKS in our lifetimes.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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