Definition of bunco in English:

bunco

noun

North American
informal
  • [usually as modifier] A swindle or confidence trick:

    ‘a bunco artist’
    • ‘Specially after I poked around and learned the Madame's qualifications for horoscope-readings consist of 19 convictions for fraud, bunco scams, and operating illegal ‘games of chance’ in Atlantic City.’
    • ‘Because the producers hired police bunco squad members as consultants, the movie shows us all the nuts and bolts of the sorts of scams that can be run in a tent-revival format.’
    • ‘But it's not just bunco artists who are suffering from this tightening of the purse strings.’
    sham, fraud, pretence, imposture, hoax, fake, misrepresentation, blind, wile, artifice, trojan horse
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]North American
informal, dated
  • Swindle or cheat:

    ‘he didn't propose to be buncoed without a fight’
    • ‘The conduct of Mr. Springborn's department was always a matter of pride with the administration, and great was the consternation of his friends when the newspapers told a story one morning of how Mr. Springborn had been buncoed.’
    • ‘I then buncoed the engineer of an English tramp steamer into selling me a 25-pound chunk of imported metal made by Mr. Babbitt himself and stamped with his name and coat of arms - but that lot didn't last long and I couldn't get any more of it.’
    • ‘I never mingle with the crowds that are being buncoed [sic] in the big department stores of Los Angeles.’
    • ‘After the expenditure of the enormous sum of five hundred dollars (and we think the present day graduate who spent ten thousand dollars for a no better education has been badly buncoed), and twelve months of our valuable time, on March 25th 1885, we were turned loose on an unsuspecting public, a full fledged obstetrician.’
    • ‘The St. Regis tribe of Indians of Franklin County claim that they were buncoed by the last legislature, and are so incensed that an outbreak at the reservation is feared.’
    • ‘The profiteers are very resourceful in buncoing Mr. Block.’
    • ‘‘Hyperbole aside,’ says I, ‘do you know of any immediate system of buncoing the community out of a dollar or two except by applying to the Salvation Army or having a fit on Miss Helen Gould's doorsteps?’’
    • ‘I just can't stay in the room and see you buncoed that way.’
    • ‘They were not buncoed, and that water power would be worth many times what the investment was.’
    • ‘In America he is so busy that when he gets abroad he does not know what to do with his time, and in consequence can be easily buncoed.’
    • ‘Not until then did it begin to be clear to me that the great mass of people gathered at Whatcom, as well as myself had been buncoed.’
    deceive, trick, dupe, outwit, fool, delude, cheat, take in, bluff, hoax, mislead, misguide, lead on, defraud, double-cross, swindle, gull, finagle, get the better of
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Origin

Late 19th century: perhaps from Spanish banca, the name of a card game.

Pronunciation

bunco

/ˈbʌŋkəʊ/