Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A swindle in which an unsuspecting person is cheated; a confidence game.
  • transitive v. To swindle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A swindle or confidence trick.
  • n. A parlour game played in teams with three dice, originating in England but popular among suburban women in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.
  • v. To swindle (someone).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. see bunko.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See bunko.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deprive of by deceit
  • n. a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property

Etymologies

Probably alteration of Spanish banca, card game, from Italian banca, bank, of Germanic origin; see bank2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Reportedly from Spanish banca, a card game. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The New York _World_ described the transaction between the government and the Morgan Company as a "bunco" game, and charged that

    The United States Since the Civil War

  • It affects your peer group, who your kids play with, and what church, Little League, or bunco group you participate in.

    Chris Ladd: Attack of the Vampire Mortgages

  • A game of strip bunco ensued with Vinnie and his gang.

    Mercy Kill

  • Unluckily for us, members of the Use It or Lose It bunco club made good on their motto to play bunco from “every church hall to every pool hall” in our fair county.

    Mercy Kill

  • They were easy game for the others, who saw clearly and knew the bunco game for what it was.

    Chapter V

  • Five thousand for a claim on that damned moose-pasture is bunco.

    Chapter XI

  • Where the bunco came in was in the distribution of these things after labor had created them.

    Chapter V

  • Then there were the fools who took the organized bunco game seriously, honoring and respecting it.

    Chapter V

  • I wonder how the hell you morons digest the b.s. that this bunco chef serves up day after day.

    Matthew Yglesias » No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition

  • No room there for little sharpers 'tricks and bunco games.

    Chapter I

Comments

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  • That's true. It's a shame to waste good martinis on creepy dictionaries.

    April 9, 2014

  • You need to stop going on dates with Wiktionary.

    April 9, 2014

  • "Suburban women?"

    April 8, 2014

  • As of 2009 I think you should use
    "419" as in "Nigerian 419 scam"
    to the definition and comments
    on bunco.
    Bob R.

    December 27, 2009