The ancient cultures have long named their children, not with names that sounded nice or cool or exotic, but rather, with names that they felt best reflected the child’s destiny or character. So, is it not reassuring that some things that have stood for depth of culture from the past survive to the present. When Barack Hussein Obama was given his name, someone obviously had some familiarity with the English language including a keener-than-usual awareness of English etymology.
Word of the DaySunday, November 21, 2010
bamboozle\ bam-BOO-zuhl \ , verb;
To deceive or get the better of (someone) by trickery, flattery, or the like.
To perplex; mystify.
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In his opening remarks he addressed the rumors that he was going to try to bamboozle them with a lot of technicalities and theatrics.
-- Caleb Carr, The Angel of Darkness
Perhaps he used them as a blind for his real project, and used to bamboozle the learned with pretending to read them passages in which great learning seemed to be elaborately worked up, crabbed with Greek and Latin, as if the topic drew into itself, like a whirlpool, all that men thought and knew; plans to cultivate cobwebs on a large scale.
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Doctor Grimshawe's Secret
Bamboozle was originally a slang or cant word, perhaps Scottish from bombaze , "perplex," related to bombast, or French. embabuiner , literally "to make a baboon of."
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