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Related to Swindling: vindication


v. swin·dled, swin·dling, swin·dles
1. To cheat or defraud of money or property.
2. To obtain by fraudulent means: swindled money from the company.
To practice fraud as a means of obtaining money or property.
The act or an instance of swindling.

[Back-formation from swindler, one who swindles, from German Schwindler, giddy person, cheat, from schwindeln, to be dizzy, swindle, from Middle High German, from Old High German swintilōn, frequentative of swintan, to disappear.]

swin′dler n.



(See also TRICKERY.)

fleece To swindle, defraud, or con a person out of a sum of money; to cheat someone, take him for a ride or to the cleaners. This expression stems from fleece ‘to pluck or shear wool from a sheep.’ In its figurative sense, fleece implies that a victim, usually a gullible person, is led willingly and unknowingly into giving up some of his possessions.

To divide what they fleeced from these poor drudges. (Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, 1840)

fly a kite To raise money through misrepresentation, such as by the sale of bogus bonds, specious stocks, or spurious securities; to write a rubber check, i.e., one for an amount which exceeds available funds. In this expression, kite, a Wall Street term for worthless bonds, stocks, or securities, may stem from kite, the falcon-like bird with a forked tail (implying dishonesty) and a toothless bill (implying worthlessness). It is more likely, however, that kite refers to the paper “toy” that soars in the wind, the implication being that these worthless papers (bonds, etc.) are good only for constructing kites.

gazump To cheat or swindle; to defraud.

Grafters speak a language comprised of every possible type of slang … These include ‘gezumph’ which means to cheat or overcharge. (P. Allingham, Cheapjack, 1934)

This British term (also written gezumph or gazoomph) is a descendant of gazamph, an obscure word for dishonest auctioneering. Nowadays, the term usually describes an unethical increase in the price of real estate after the original asking price has been agreed.

palm off To dispose of fraudulently; to deceive someone into accepting a worthless item, plan, or other matter about which bogus claims have been made. This expression alludes to magicians and other sleight-of-hand artists who are able to trick a viewer into believing that an object concealed in the palm of their hand is actually somewhere else.

Have you not tried to palm off a yesterday’s pun? (Charles Lamb, Elia, 1822)

pig in a poke A worthless, uncertain, or misrepresented bargain; a risk or chance; some item purchased or accepted on blind, and possibly misplaced, trust. This expression recalls the county fairs which were once common in England and elsewhere. If a customer bought a suckling pig at one of these fairs, he would usually take it home in a poke, a small sack. Since some pigs were sold at bargain prices sight unseen in a sealed bag, an occasional unscrupulous purveyor substituted a cat for. the pig, hoping to deceive the buyer of “a pig in a poke.” A cautious customer, however, would open the sack before buying its contents, thus “letting the cat out of the bag.” This expression often appears in the context of to buy a pig in a poke. The French equivalent, acheter un chat en poche ’to buy a cat in a poke,’ refers directly to the deceptive practice described above. See also let the cat out of the bag, EXPOSURE.

take to the cleaners To defraud someone of all his money; to wipe out; often used passively in the phrase to be taken to the cleaners. This rather recent American slang expression is thought to be a modernized version of the earlier slang phrase cleaned out, which is still in current use today. Its meaning is similar to that of taken to the cleaners, but it lacks the latter’s usual connotation of having been duped or swindled.

References in classic literature ?
The shopkeeper there swindles you if he can, and insults you whether he succeeds in swindling you or not.
Weary and heart-sick as she was -- suspicious of others, doubtful of herself -- the extravagant impudence of Captain Wragge's defense of swindling touched Magdalen's natural sense of humor, and forced a smile to her lips.
That swindling Pumblechook, exalted into the beneficent contriver of the whole occasion, actually took the top of the table; and, when he addressed them on the subject of my being bound, and had fiendishly congratulated them on my being liable to imprisonment if I played at cards, drank strong liquors, kept late hours or bad company, or indulged in other vagaries which the form of my indentures appeared to contemplate as next to inevitable, he placed me standing on a chair beside him, to illustrate his remarks.
Although lately some spark may have been shown by one, which made us think he was ordained by God for our redemption, nevertheless it was afterwards seen, in the height of his career, that fortune rejected him; so that Italy, left as without life, waits for him who shall yet heal her wounds and put an end to the ravaging and plundering of Lombardy, to the swindling and taxing of the kingdom and of Tuscany, and cleanse those sores that for long have festered.
I call it swindling to make such false pretensions.
There was no system whatever in swindling me out of a penny -- a clear fraud of fifty per cent -- no method in any respect.
But if you think I am going to let the Union Jack go down and down eternally, like the bottomless well, down into the blackness of the bottomless pit, down in defeat and derision, amid the jeers of the very Jews who have sucked us dry--no I won't, and that's flat; not if the Chancellor were blackmailed by twenty millionaires with their gutter rags, not if the Prime Minister married twenty Yankee Jewesses, not if Woodville and Carstairs had shares in twenty swindling mines.
Brother Jonah, for example (there are such unpleasant people in most families; perhaps even in the highest aristocracy there are Brobdingnag specimens, gigantically in debt and bloated at greater expense)--Brother Jonah, I say, having come down in the world, was mainly supported by a calling which he was modest enough not to boast of, though it was much better than swindling either on exchange or turf, but which did not require his presence at Brassing so long as he had a good corner to sit in and a supply of food.
But that's the worst of my calling, I'm always deluding myself, and swindling myself.
Friends who will see her swindling scoundrel of a father (when my back is turned) coming drunk to the door to borrow money of her
That clause was directed of course against the swindling practices of the boarding-house crimps.
In the next room they were talking about some sort of machines, and swindling, and coughing their morning coughs.