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tinhorn

[tin-hawrn]Slang.
noun
  1. someone, especially a gambler, who pretends to be important but actually has little money, influence, or skill.
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adjective
  1. cheap and insignificant; small-time: a tinhorn racket.
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Origin of tinhorn

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; tin + horn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tinhorn

Historical Examples of tinhorn

  • On the last turn Smith drew another three and Tinhorn another queen.

    'Me-Smith'

    Caroline Lockhart

  • Was Tinhorn bluffing or did he have another queen in the “hole”?

    'Me-Smith'

    Caroline Lockhart

  • Tinhorn” in particular was disturbed because of their nearness.

  • Make it Masterson, an hell make you an every other tinhorn hard to find.

    The Sunset Trail

    Alfred Henry Lewis

  • But we don't get many men with your background—cop, tinhorn, fighter—who have brains enough for our work.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey


British Dictionary definitions for tinhorn

tinhorn

noun
  1. a cheap pretentious person, esp a gambler with extravagant claims
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adjective
  1. cheap and showy
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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 tinhorn

adj.

"petty but flashy," 1857, from tin + horn (n.); originally of low-class gamblers, from the tin cans they used for shaking dice.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper