acting, talking insincerely


paltering = unaufrichtig handeln oder reden



"The characters in my novel include a young woman who fakes clairvoyant visions to express socially unacceptable feelings, and a psychoanalyst who is skilled at PALTERING.”

Kate Mascarenhas — The Guardian (25th June 2023)

“Artful PALTERING: The Risks and Rewards of Using Truthful Statements to Mislead Others."

Todd Rogers, et al. - Harvard Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2017)

Did you


- to act or talk insincerely

Collins Dictionary


The word "palter" originates from Middle English, specifically from the word "palteren". It can be traced back to the Old French word "palter", meaning "to haggle" or "to argue". The ultimate origin of the word is uncertain, but it is believed to have Germanic roots.

Over time, "palter" has evolved to mean "to deceive or trick by using ambiguous or evasive language". It is often associated with dishonesty or insincerity in communication.


In London’s financial district, a short street named Bartholomew Lane, was once home to the London Stock Exchange. In 1814, an audacious deception caused chaos and panic in this very area, thanks to British Lord Thomas Cochrane and his accomplice, Captain de Berenger.

This is how they played it out. De Berenger put on a military costume and went to Dover, England, where he told everyone who would listen that he had just arrived from Paris. He declared that the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had just been killed and France was about to be defeated by the Allies. The good news spread like wildfire.

The next day, London’s stock exchange saw a trading boom – something Cochrane had predicted. Cochrane had previously stockpiled government bonds, and he was now able to sell them immediately at a huge margin. Within a few days, it became clear that Napoleon was still alive, and the financial fraud was exposed.

Cochrane was tried, found guilty, and quickly fled to England where he was dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1814. Travelling to South America, he helped organise and lead the revolutionary navies of Chile and Brazil during their respective wars of independence during the 1820s. While commanding the Chilean Navy, Cochrane also contributed to Peruvian independence through his participation in the Liberating Expedition of Peru.

In 1832, in a remarkable reversal of fate, Cochrane was pardoned by the Crown and reinstated in the Royal Navy with the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Blue. He died in 1860 with the rank of Admiral of the Red, and the honorary title of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Cochrane's life and exploits inspired the naval fiction of 19th and 20th century novelists, particularly the fictional characters C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey.


bamboozle, beguile, betray, bluff, cheat, con, cozen, deceive, defraud, delude, double-cross, dissemble, dissimulate, dupe, fabricate, falsify, fool, fudge, gull, hoax, hoodwink, mislead, misinform, PALTER, perjure, scam, seduce, string along, swindle, trick

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like

"The life and times of Lord Thomas Cochrane is an almost unbelievable example of PALTERING.”

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