I learned a new word today when my literary agency was hornswoggled.
What a great word “hornswoggled” is. I mean I had to look it up but I could just feel it’s definition in a way. Some words are like that. Makes me a fan of the English language when I can kinda sorta figure stuff out about it even though I am unfamiliar with an actual definition. That’s a skill we should teach to our kids for the bubble tests, no? I mean it beats the crud out of simply doing this to improve pass rates.
Do you know what hornswoggled is? I bet you do. Here’s the story to which I am referring. See if you were right.
Oh yeah, there’s also a lesson in this for all aspiring writers: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I feel bad for the authors to whom this happened. And to Jodi Reamer. Really, is there anything worse than being hornswoggled?
BTW, the free online dictionary says this about the origin of the word (for those of you, like me, who might be interested): We do not know the origin of hornswoggle. We do know that it belongs to a group of “fancified” words that were particularly popular in the American West in the 19th century. Hornswoggle is one of the earliest, first appearing around 1829. It is possible that these words were invented to poke fun at the more “sophisticated” East. Some other words of this ilk are absquatulate,also first appearing in the 1820s, skedaddle, first attested in 1861 in Missouri, and discombobulate, first recorded in 1916.