Bamboozle



to deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like; humbug; hoodwink (often followed by into):
They bamboozled us into joining the club.
Synonyms: gyp, dupe, trick, cheat, swindle, defraud, flimflam, hoax, gull, rook; delude, mislead, fool.
to perplex; mystify; confound.
Synonyms: befog, bewilder, puzzle, baffle, dumbfound.
to practice trickery, deception, cozenage, or the like:
He bamboozled his way to the top.
Contemporary Examples

Or when he said the Clinton camp was trying to “bamboozle” or “hoodwink” voters?
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Lovefest on ‘60 Minutes’ Lauren Ashburn January 27, 2013

Historical Examples

“I want to make things snug for you here, lest Etienne should bamboozle you,” continued Finot, looking knowingly at Lucien.
A Distinguished Provincial at Paris Honore de Balzac

Instead, she was inclined to boast over her ability to bamboozle men at her will.
Within the Law Marvin Dana

In vain did the philosopher try to bamboozle me into the belief that “it was lard.”
Ginger-Snaps Fanny Fern

It is not so with us artists; they could not bamboozle us in this way.
Gerfaut, Complete Charles de Bernard

Do you think I’d bamboozle him and half beckon and half persuade, the way women do, and trap him into the great enchantment?
Old Crow Alice Brown

But many modern adventuresses have been able to bamboozle the mighty.
Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo William Le Queux

Then why are people so very anxious to get this lawyer or that to bamboozle the witnesses?
Phineas Redux Anthony Trollope

He saw he could not fool or bamboozle me in the slightest degree.
Shadow, the Mysterious Detective Police Captain Howard

“We may bamboozle the scoundrel, and succeed where others have failed,” observed the dominie.
In New Granada W.H.G. Kingston

verb (transitive) (informal)
to cheat; mislead
to confuse
v.

1703, originally a slang or cant word, perhaps Scottish from bombaze “perplex,” related to bombast, or French embabouiner “to make a fool (literally ‘baboon’) of.” Related: Bamboozled; bamboozling. As a noun from 1703.

verb

To hoax; trick; swindle; flimflam: My worthy opponent thrives by bamboozling the public

[Underworld 1700s+; origin unknown and much disputed; some claim a Romany source]

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