On the other hand, as William F. Buckley shrewdly observed, there was always a lot of sham and play-acting with Vidal.
Even her 46-year marriage to Dr. Leonard Gordon, a cardiologist, turned out to be a sham.
But for the literalists who simply must know, who must look behind the curtain, who must see if Oz is real or a sham?
1670s, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," also as a verb and an adjective, of uncertain origin; the words burst into use in 1677. Perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (n.); a derivation OED finds "not impossible." Sense of "something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning "false front" in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." Related: Shammed; shamming; shammer. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.