Simple Definition of boondoggle
: an expensive and wasteful project usually paid for with public money
Full Definition of boondoggle
1 : a braided cord worn by Boy Scouts as a neckerchief slide, hatband, or ornament
2 : a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft
boondogglerplay \-g(ə-)lər\ noun
Examples of boondoggle in a sentence
Critics say the dam is a complete boondoggle—over budget, behind schedule, and unnecessary.
Did You Know?
When "boondoggle" popped up in the pages of the New York Times in 1935, lots of people tried to explain where the word came from. One theory traced it to an Ozarkian word for "gadget," while another related it to the Tagalog word that gave us "boondocks." Another hypothesis suggested that "boondoggle" came from the name of leather toys Daniel Boone supposedly made for his dog. But the only theory that is supported by evidence is much simpler. In the 1920s, Robert Link, a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, apparently coined the word to name the braided leather cords made and worn by scouts. The word came to prominence when such a scout boondoggle was presented to the Prince of Wales at the 1929 World Jamboree, and it's been with us ever since.
Origin and Etymology of boondoggle
coined by Robert H. Link †1957 American scoutmaster
First Known Use: 1929
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up boondoggle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).