Word of the Week Wednesday: hornswoggle

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: hornswoggle.

I’ve always found hornswoggle to be a kind of funny, Yosemite Sam-type word.

It means to cheat or swindle.

I can’t recall ever hearing the word used in a way that was not intended to be humorous.

Perhaps back in prospector days or the wild, wild West, it was used seriously, or maybe just any time before the Looney Tunes.

As far as the origin of the word?  Who can tell?

The Word Detective tells a story about a book he read where it was explained as a cow wriggling out of a tether but can’t attest to its accuracy.



About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

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