- mischief; prankishness: Halloween shenanigans.
- deceit; trickery.
a mischievous or deceitful trick, practice, etc.
Origin of shenanigan
An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; of obscure origin
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for shenaniganhorseplay
Examples from the Web for shenanigan
Historical Examples of shenanigan
I'll darn soon show ye what's the matter with me, you come any o' your shenanigan around here.
He was a bold man who attempted any shenanigan with Mart Haney, and the games of his halls were reported honest.
British Dictionary definitions for shenanigan
(usually plural) roguishness; mischief
an act of treachery; deception
Word Origin for shenanigan
C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for shenanigan
1855, of uncertain origin. Earliest records of it are in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, U.S. Suggestions include Spanish chanada, a shortened form of charranada "trick, deceit;" or, less likely, German Schenigelei, peddler's argot for "work, craft," or the related German slang verb schinäglen. Another guess centers on Irish sionnach "fox."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper