Month: July 2019

hornswoggle

“Hornswoggle” means to bamboozle, bluff, deceive, delude, dupe, fool, hoodwink, trick, or swindle and is first recorded in the USA in the 1800s. A character in Jack London’s The Valley of the Moon (1913) bitterly complains, “We’re hornswoggled. We’re backed to a standstill. We’re double-crossed to a fare-you-well.” A few years later, P. G. Wodehouse used it in Little Warrior:…

butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth

This phrase means to be prim and proper, or demure and insincere, with a cool demeanor, the cool demeanor being the most important part. It is an old saying, and was included as a proverb in John Heywood’s collection of 1546. The saying is not easy to understand, since in these modern days of refrigerators, you could put butter in…