Skullduggery

In researching skullduggery, I came across so many other wonderful words I could hardly contain my glee. One site (dictionary.com) suggested, see also: hanky panky, hocus-pocus, jiggery-pokery.  And another site, (The Word Detective) suggested one meaning as “clandestine machinations.” That’s like a bonus round of words. Clandestine? Machinations? This is good stuff. As for where skullduggery comes from, there’s this from the Online Entomology Dictionary: 1856, apparently an alteration of Scottish sculdudrie “adultery” (1713), sculduddery “bawdry, obscenity” (1821), a euphemism of uncertain origin. By the way, today’s post was inspired by a tweet that @BetsyDrager shared, as a retweet from @WordWorlds (aka Rachel Thomas). In her words, skullduggery is “gnarly, crooked, tangible .. almost physical.” That’s spot on. Well said Rachel.

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One thought on “Skullduggery

  1. Skullduggery, an interesting word, sounding like it is from another time, another place. I think
    it is a Sherlock Holmes kind of word…very British…very Sherlock.

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