verb (used with object), boon·dog·gled, boon·dog·gling.
verb (used without object), boon·dog·gled, boon·dog·gling.
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Origin of boondoggle
OTHER WORDS FROM boondoggleboondoggler, noun
Words nearby boondoggle
What does boondoggle mean?
A boondoggle is a government project considered to have little purpose or value and to be a waste of taxpayer money.
More generally, it can refer to any work done simply to look busy. These senses of the word are based on its original, literal meaning: a decorative but otherwise useless cord of braided leather or plastic (or another such handicraft) stereotypically made by Scouts.
Boondoggle can also be used as a verb meaning to deceive. All senses of the word are primarily used in the U.S. and Canada.
Example: Critics called the mayor’s proposal for a tech hub nothing more than a boondoggle to please his political donors.
Where does boondoggle come from?
The first records of the word boondoggle come from the 1930s. The term is often attributed to American scoutmaster R.H. Link. The literal sense of the word refers to the kind of braided cords often made by Scouts, which are typically attached to things like handkerchiefs and keychains as a decoration.
Today, boondoggle is commonly associated with unnecessary government spending, especially by the U.S. federal government. A project is typically called a boondoggle by those who think it’s unnecessary and wasteful. Boondoggles are often blamed on politicians who add such expenditures into budgets as a favor to their cronies, or as a way of getting a favor in return. Boondoggle is always used in a negative way to criticize such projects as worthless or pointless, and especially as a waste of money and resources.
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How is boondoggle used in real life?
Boondoggle is primarily an American term used in the context of politics. It’s always used negatively—unless it literally refers to the little braided trinkets made by Scouts.
yo i had no idea these were called boondoggles?? but i made them so much as a kid omg pic.twitter.com/QWWbcMnEvm
— 🌷 vicky 🌷 @ suffering like everyone else (@svartwork) April 2, 2020
Many of the same Tories trashing Ottawa for spending too much in good times (a fair criticism) were Alberta Tories who helped spend the entire resource wealth of the province, running deficits @ $100 oil and financing boondoggles like NW Upgrader's $26 billion liability. #cdnpoli
— eric denhoff (@EDenhoff) March 31, 2020
This is going to be the biggest unaccounted for boondoggle ever.
When it’s all over the public won’t have a clue where a lot of the money went.
— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) March 24, 2020
Try using boondoggle!
Which of the following words is LEAST likely to describe a boondoggle?
Example sentences from the Web for boondoggle
While that may have some positive health effects, aggressive medical therapy is also a boondoggle for drug companies.Doctors Should Start Advocating Dietary Options to Treat Heart Disease|Daniela Drake|July 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
But really, aside from these nice side benefits, the whole thing is a boondoggle, at least it is for us.
A major bill may contain dozens of bridges to nowhere, or boondoggle favors to some deep-pocketed donor.Rick Santorum’s Beltway Curse Is Hurting His 2012 Campaign|Howard Kurtz|February 24, 2012|DAILY BEAST