grift was our Word of the Day on 03/22/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of grift from the Web
But after using hundreds of fake online identities to grift the online retail giant, the husband and wife team face up to 20 years behind bars for fraud and money laundering.
Not to alarm you, fellow Chicagoans, but someone is trying to grift our fair city: Heinz, that ubiquitous purveyor of ketchup, is trying to sneak the red stuff on your hot dogs.
And that’s just in the opening scene — a splashy tableau of gleeful street grifting that’s staged with plenty of midcentury-Manhattan grit and wit in the Old Globe’s crackling new revival of the musical favorite.
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Did You Know?
Grift was born in the argot of the underworld, a realm in which a "grifter" might be a pickpocket, a crooked gambler, or a confidence man-any criminal who relied on skill and wits rather than physical violence-and to be "on the grift" was to make a living by stings and clever thefts. "Grift" may have evolved from "graft," a slightly older word meaning "to acquire dishonestly," but its exact origins are uncertain. We do know that the verb "grift" first finagled its way into print in 1915 in George Bronson-Howard's God's Man: "Grifting ain't what it used to be. Fourteenth Street's got protection down to a system-a regular underworld tariff on larceny."
Origin and Etymology of grift
First Known Use: 1915See Words from the same year
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Seen and Heard
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