Don’t try and hoodwink me

Put on your deerstalker hat because I have a poser for you. Where in the world did the word hornswoggle originate from? According to Dictionary.com, it’s a slang word that means “to swindle, cheat, hoodwink, or hoax.” Dating from 1815-1825, its origin is unknown. Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hornswoggle

 

 

Another source, A Way With Words, tells us “the word hornswoggle, meaning “to embarrass” or “to swindle,” is of unclear origin, but definitely seems of a piece with U.S. frontier slang from the 1830s and 1840s.” Source: https://www.waywordradio.org/?s=hornswoggle&submit=search

 

 

Determined to root out the origin, I found this inventive etymology for the word: Unknown, 1829 United States. Presumably horns + waggle with humorous faux ablaut or combination with wobble (compare later woggle, 1923), perhaps inspired by lassoed steers trying to escape by moving or waggling their head. Source: https://www.yourdictionary.com/hornswoggle