We have well over a hundred synonyms for fraud, cheat and steal. American English captures every subtle nuance to every single form of theft ever devised. You’d almost think we worshiped it or something. Here are just a few examples, in alphabetical order:
Bait, bamboozle, bilk, betray, blackmail, bleed, bluff, buffalo, bullshit, burgle, burn, cheat. chicane, chisel, clip, con, cozen, credit default swap, deceit, deceive, defalcate, defraud, delude, diddle, dodge, double-cross, double-deal, dupe, embezzle, extort, fake, fast one, filch, finagle, fleece, flimflam, fool, fox, fractional reserve banking, free-market, fraud, gouge, grift, grifter, gull, gyp, heist, hoax, hold-up, hose, hoodwink, hornswoggle, hustle, imposture, inveigle, jerk- around, jimmy, jive, juke, lead-on, lie, long con, manipulate, milk, mislead, mulct, peculate, pilfer, pinch, play, play for a sucker, plot, ploy, Ponzi scheme, pull a fast one, purloin, put on, racket, racketeering, rifle, rip-off, rob, roll, rook, rope-in, run a game on, ruse, sandbag, scam, scheme, screw, sell a bill of goods, shaft, sham, shave, smoke, snare, snow, speculate, steal, subterfuge, sub-prime mortgage, swindle, swipe, take in, take to the cleaners, take for a ride, trick, wheedle, wheel and deal.
What do you think is really on our minds? Is it any wonder why you-know-who and his equally crooked offspring now rule over us? It’s a natural evolutionary development, something baked in our national DNA that was destined to emerge at some fateful point, like cystic fibrosis or hemophilia. After he’s gone there will just be another, then another, then another, on and on and on, year in, year out, until the Capitol Building lies in ruins and lichens grow in the Oval Office.