Etymology
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swindle (v.)

1782, back-formation from swindler "cheater." Related: Swindled; swindling. As a noun, "act of swindling," from 1833.

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con (v.2)

"to swindle," 1896, from con (adj.). Related: Conned; conning.

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scam 

1963, noun ("trick, ruse, swindle, cheat") and verb ("to trick or swindle, perpetrate a fraud"), U.S. slang, a carnival term, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to 19c. British slang scamp "cheater, swindler" (see scamp (n.)).

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bunco (n.)

also bunko, type of confidence swindle, 1872, perhaps from Italian banco "bank."

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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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fleece (v.)

1530s in the literal sense of "to strip (a sheep) of fleece," from fleece (n.). From 1570s in the figurative meaning "to cheat, swindle, strip of money." Related: Fleeced; fleecer; fleecing.

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hustle (n.)

"pushing activity; activity in the interest of success," 1891, American English, from hustle (v.) in its later colloquial senses; earlier the noun meant "a shaking together" (1715). Sense of "a swindle, illegal business activity" is by 1963, American English. As the name of a popular dance, by 1975.

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gold-brick (n.)

"gold in the form of a brick," 1853, from gold (adj.) + brick (n.). Meaning "shirker" is from 1914, World War I armed forces slang, from earlier verb meaning "to swindle, cheat" (1902) from the old con game of selling spurious "gold" bricks (attested by 1881).

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defraud (v.)

late 14c., defrauden, "deprive of right, by deception or breech of trust or withholding," from Old French defrauder, from Latin defraudare "to defraud, cheat," from de- "thoroughly" (see de-) + fraudare "to cheat, swindle" (see fraud). Related: Defrauded; defrauding.

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gouge (v.)

1560s, "to cut with a gouge," from gouge (n.). Meaning "to force out with a gouge" (especially of the eyes, in fighting) attested by 1800. Meaning "to swindle" is American English colloquial from 1826 (implied in plural noun gougers). Related: Gouged; gouging.

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