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Bamboozle is a word that goes back to the early 1700s. Once considered a bit old fashioned, bamboozle has seen a resurgence in popularity due to its use in various memes. We will examine the definition of the word bamboozle, where it may have originated, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Bamboozle means to trick or fool someone, to confuse someone, to mislead or cheat someone. Bamboozle is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are bamboozles, bamboozled, bamboozling, bamboozler. The origin of the word bamboozle is uncertain, though there are two very good possibilities. Bamboozle may be derived from the Scottish word bumbaze, sometimes spelled bombaze, which was popular around the time that the word bamboozle first emerged. Bumbaze or bombaze means to perplex or bewilder. Another possible origin is the French word embabouiner, which means to make a fool out of someone, literally translating as making a baboon out of someone.


If we find ourselves at the 2019 Rugby World Cup marveling at the use of miss-pass headers, or even self-headers by players to bamboozle defences, remember the Hurricanes prop who kickstarted a trend. (The Telegraph)

People are bamboozled by bills and have told researchers they are not confident that they could spot an error if they were over- or undercharged by their supplier. (The Independent)

It is a challenge Ricky Burdett attempted in his 2006 Venice architecture biennale, and ended up bamboozling many visitors with a dense slew of diagrams and statistics, which felt like a geography textbook stuck on the wall. (The Guardian)

Because, when Henriques reported and wrote The Wizard of Lies, Donald Trump was not yet a player on the national political stage; in the present tense of Levinson’s adaptation, Madoff the bamboozler seems a canary in the coal mine for the age of Trump. (Vogue Magazine)