verb (used with object), horn·swog·gled, horn·swog·gling.Slang.
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Origin of hornswoggle
Words nearby hornswoggle
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does hornswoggle come from?
Hornswoggle, as noted in our definition above, means “to swindle, cheat, or hoax.” But, it would be cheating for us to say we know where hornswoggle comes from exactly. Its earliest known appearance so far is in the U.S. around 1815–25.
Is hornswoggle supposed to sound like some hullabaloo from some sort of trumpet? Did a hog get all washed up? Well, sometimes nonsense words are just that—nonsense. Ultimately, hornswoggle is probably just a fanciful, funny formation.
Many more amusing Americanisms await in our slideshow “These Wacky Words Originated In The USA.”
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Looking for more synonyms? (Not that we hope you have any practical need for ‘em!) Steal your way over to Thesaurus.com and check out the many alternatives for cheat.
Example sentences 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