follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

boondoggle

[boon-dog-uh l, -daw-guh l] /ˈbunˌdɒg əl, -ˌdɔ gəl/
noun
1.
a product of simple manual skill, as a plaited leather cord for the neck or a knife sheath, made typically by a camper or a scout.
2.
work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
3.
a project funded by the federal government out of political favoritism that is of no real value to the community or the nation.
verb (used with object), boondoggled, boondoggling.
4.
to deceive or attempt to deceive:
to boondoggle investors into a low-interest scheme.
verb (used without object), boondoggled, boondoggling.
5.
to do work of little or no practical value merely to keep or look busy.
Origin
1930-1935
1930-35, Americanism; said to have been coined by R. H. Link, American scoutmaster, as name for def 1
Related forms
boondoggler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for boondoggler

boondoggle

/ˈbuːnˌdɒɡəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to do futile and unnecessary work
noun
2.
a futile and unnecessary project or work
Derived Forms
boondoggler, noun
Word Origin
C20: said to have been coined by R. H. Link, American scoutmaster
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for boondoggler

boondoggle

n.

1935, American English, of uncertain origin, popularized during the New Deal as a contemptuous word for make-work projects for the unemployed. Said to have been a pioneer word for "gadget;" it also was by 1932 a Boy Scout term for a kind of woven braid.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for boondoggler

boondoggle

noun

: The public's got the idea that this is a boondoggle, a Rube Goldberg

verb

To spend public funds outlandishly or on futile activity

[mid-1930s+; origin uncertain; verb said to be fr the iron-smelting industry, meaning ''make unprofitable attempts to retrieve good iron from slag''; noun found by 1940s meaning ''an ornamental thong made by Boy Scouts'' and suggesting mere make-work]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for boondoggle

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for boondoggler

0
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for boondoggler