Word of the Day

Sunday, November 21, 2010


\bam-BOO-zuhl\ , verb;
To deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like.
To perplex; mystify.
In his opening remarks he addressed the rumors that he was going to try to bamboozle them with a lot of technicalities and theatrics.
-- Caleb Carr, The Angel of Darkness
Perhaps he used them as a blind for his real project, and used to bamboozle the learned with pretending to read them passages in which great learning seemed to be elaborately worked up, crabbed with Greek and Latin, as if the topic drew into itself, like a whirlpool, all that men thought and knew; plans to cultivate cobwebs on a large scale.
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Doctor Grimshawe's Secret
Bamboozle was originally a slang or cant word, perhaps Scottish from bombaze, "perplex," related to bombast, or French. embabuiner, literally "to make a baboon of."
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