Word of the Day: Shenanigan

April 9, 2008 at 7:13 am | Posted in Language | 1 Comment

A beautiful word which seems to be used in American English rather than in British English; or at least the Cambridge dictionary doesn’t mention it, but Merriam-Webster does:

Main Entry: she·nan·i·gan
Pronunciation: \shə-ˈna-ni-gən\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1855

1: a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose2 a: tricky or questionable practices or conduct —usually used in plural b: high-spirited or mischievous activity —usually used in plural

It seems it can also be applied to people:

If Perez Hilton plays nice, he could name his price
By Andrew Wallenstein
April 9, 2008
The Oprah comparison certainly smacks of delusional grandeur, and yet it’s not so easy to dismiss, either. As for overcoming his original sleazy incarnation, it’s worth noting that Winfrey didn’t exactly start out as squeaky clean as she currently is, trafficking in the same kind of talk-show shenanigans as Jerry Springer earlier in her own career.

Dict.cc suggests Schwindel, Streich – maybe Mogelpackung would also work.

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