Shenanigans - Word of the Week

Definition: Shenanigans

Noun: secret or dishonest behavior; silly behavior or mischief

Pronunciation: shuh-nan-i-guhnz

Example: "No more shenanigans! It's time to get to work."

One popular phrase that you probably don't want to hear directed at you is "call shenanigans". To call shenanigans means someone is accusing someone else of cheating, being deceitful, or in a less serious meaning, of being incorrect.

Example: "There is no way that you have 4 ace cards. I call shenanigans."

Origin: The origins of "shenanigan" are unsure, but it was first used in American English in the 1850s, in California.  If only we knew what kind of shenanigans were going on in San Francisco at the time!

Today, it’s more likely to mean mischief or harmless fun rather than being harmful or dishonest. People may talk about the shenanigans they got up to over the weekend, or the shenanigans happening on a TV show.

You’ll see “shenanigans” used in a lot of casual ways, especially in the United States. From toy companies to restaurants and bars to movies, it comes up quite often. The band Green Day even called a compilation album Shenanigans!

What shenanigans have you been up to lately? Let us know in the comments!

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