Vending wonder, big diversions with little fibs, my father loved to play the game, cog the die, and thimblerig the ear, offering up the pleasure of an afternoon s deception.
-- Lee Siegel, Love and Other Games of Chance
"I do not permit any man to thimblerig his debts to me into my debts to him." Burbank seemed deeply moved.
-- Roger Rosenblatt, Beet: A Novel
Thimblerig as a verb derives from the con artist's game of the same name. The word is a combination of thimble, the small metal cap used in sewing, and rig, in the archaic sense of "to trick or scheme."