• synonyms


[shuh-nan-i-guh n]
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noun Informal.
  1. Usually shenanigans.
    1. mischief; prankishness: Halloween shenanigans.
    2. deceit; trickery.
  2. a mischievous or deceitful trick, practice, etc.
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Origin of shenanigan

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shenanigans

misbehavior, naughtiness, horseplay, mischievousness, nonsense, vandalism, gag, trouble, prank, antics, capers, hanky-panky

Examples from the Web for shenanigans

Contemporary Examples of shenanigans

Historical Examples of shenanigans

British Dictionary definitions for shenanigans


noun informal
  1. (usually plural) roguishness; mischief
  2. an act of treachery; deception
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Word Origin for shenanigan

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 shenanigans


see shenanigan.

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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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper