[ hawrn-swog-uh l ]
/ ˈhɔrnˌswɒg əl /

verb (used with object), horn·swog·gled, horn·swog·gling. Slang.

to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.

Origin of hornswoggle

1815–25 origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hornswoggle

  • The fellow I've been having so much fun with—the Nervy Matt that tried to hornswoggle me with my own photograph.

    Cappy Ricks|Peter B. Kyne

British Dictionary definitions for hornswoggle


/ (ˈhɔːnˌswɒɡəl) /


(tr) slang to cheat or trick; bamboozle

Word Origin for hornswoggle

C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hornswoggle



"to cheat," 1829, probably a fanciful formation. Related: Hornswoggled; hornswoggling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper