Etymology
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swindler (n.)

1774, from German Schwindler "giddy person, extravagant speculator, cheat," from schwindeln "to be giddy, act extravagantly, swindle," from Old High German swintilon "be giddy," frequentative form of swintan "to languish, disappear;" cognate with Old English swindan, and probably with swima "dizziness." Said to have been introduced in London by German Jews c. 1762.

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chisel (v.)

c. 1500, "to break, cut, gouge, etc. with a chisel," from chisel (n.). Slang sense of "to cheat, defraud" is first recorded in 1808 as chizzel; origin and connection to the older word are obscure (but compare slang sense of gouge; perhaps the sense is "to cut close" as in a bargain). Related: Chiseled; chiseling.

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circumvent (v.)

mid-15c., "to surround by hostile stratagem," from Latin circumventus, past participle of circumvenire "to get around, be around, encircle, surround," in figurative sense "to oppress, assail, cheat," from circum "around" (see circum-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Meaning "to go round" is from 1840. Related: Circumvented; circumventing.

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stiff (v.)

late 14c., "to make stiff," from stiff (adj.). Meaning "fail to tip" is from 1939, originally among restaurant and hotel workers, probably from stiff (n.), perhaps in slang sense of "corpse" (because dead men pay no tips), or from the "contemptible person" sense. Extended by 1950 to "cheat."

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blench (v.)

"shrink, start back, give way; flinch, wince, dodge," c. 1200, an extended sense from Old English blencan "deceive, cheat" (obsolete in the original sense), from Proto-Germanic *blenk- "to shine, dazzle, blind" (source also of Old Norse blekkja "delude"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn," also "shining white." Related: Blenched; blenching.

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deceive (v.)

"mislead by false appearance or statement," c. 1300, from Old French decevoir "to deceive" (12c., Modern French décevoir), from Latin decipere "to ensnare, take in, beguile, cheat," from de "from" or pejorative (see de-) + combining form of capere "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Related: Deceived; deceiver; deceiving.

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jink (v.)

1715, "move nimbly; wheel or fling about in dancing," a Scottish word of unknown origin. It also came to mean "elude, dodge" (1774); "to trick, cheat" (1785). As a noun, "act of eluding" (1786). For high jinks, see hijinks, the date of which suggests this word is older than the record.

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canard (n.)

"absurd or fabricated story intended as an imposition," 1851, perhaps 1843, from French canard "a hoax," literally "a duck" (from Old French quanart, probably echoic of a duck's quack); said by Littré to be from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié "to half-sell a duck," thus, perhaps from some long-forgotten joke, "to cheat." But also compare quack (n.1).

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chouse (n.)

"swindler, impostor," c. 1600; also "one easily cheated" (1640s); "a swindle, trick, sham, imposition" (1708), an obsolete word said to be from Turkish chaush "sergeant, herald, messenger," but the sense connection is obscure. Century Dictionary says the Turkish word is via Arabic khawas from Hindi khawas "an attendant." Also used as a verb, "to cheat, swindle" (1650s).

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bamboozle (v.)

"to cheat, trick, swindle," 1703, originally a slang or cant word, of unknown origin. Perhaps Scottish from bombaze, bumbaze "confound, perplex," or related to bombast, or related to French embabouiner "to make a fool (literally 'baboon') of." Wedgwood suggests Italian bambolo, bamboccio, bambocciolo "a young babe," extended by metonymy to mean "an old dotard or babish gull." Related: Bamboozled; bamboozler; bamboozling. As a noun from 1703.

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