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boon·dog·gle (bngəl, -dŏgəl) Informal
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n.
1. An unnecessary or wasteful project or activity.
2.
a. A braided leather cord worn as a decoration especially by Boy Scouts.
b. A cord of braided leather, fabric, or plastic strips made by a child as a project to keep busy.
intr.v. boon·dog·gled, boon·dog·gling, boon·dog·gles
To waste time or money on a boondoggle.

[Coined before 1929 by Robert H. Link, American Eagle Scout, as a name for a braided leather decoration, perhaps on the model of earlier woggle, Boy Scout's braided leather neckerchief fastener in the shape of a Turk's-head, or TOGGLE. Sense 1, from a public controversy that emerged in 1935 after New Deal funds were used to provide instruction for the unemployed in handicrafts such as leather braiding.]

boondoggler n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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