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If archaic words are the grizzled veterans of a language, slang terms are its feisty teenagers. These are words that are not afraid to experiment, twist, turn, blend, and innovate with language.

Since slang is often born on the gritty streets of language, those words often don't get recorded in a birth register in the form of printed citations. So their origins are hard to pin down.

We do have the origins of all of this week's slang though, as they all are based on words from foreign languages. This week let's look at slang originating in words from Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Italian.

(BOOD-l) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun: An illegal payment, as in graft.

verb intr.: To take money dishonestly, especially from graft.

[From Dutch boedel (property).]

"100 years ago, June 2, 1905: [Several senators and representatives] were arrested yesterday on charges growing out of the alleged boodling operations in the last general assembly."
Other Days; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jun 2, 2005.

See more usage examples of boodle in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.


We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party. -Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

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