hanky-panky
Hankey-pankey Han"key-pan"key, Hankey-pank Han"key-pank`(h[a^][ng]"k[y^]*p[a^][ng]"k[y^]), n. [Cf. {Hocus-pocus}.] [Also spelled {hanky-panky}.] 1. Professional cant; the chatter of conjurers to divert attention from their tricks; hence, jugglery. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

2. Illegal or unethical behavior, usually surreptitious; as, the boss got suspicious when profits seemed lower than expected, and hired an investigator to see if any hankey-pankey was going on. [Informal] [PJC]

3. Extramarital sexual relations, especially adultery. [Colloq.] [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • hanky-panky — (n.) also hanky panky, 1841, trickery, British slang, possibly a variant of hoky poky deception, fraud, altered from hocus pocus …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hanky panky — or slap and tickle as some older folks call it would bemaking out in America …   The American's guide to speaking British

  • hanky-panky — [n] mischief chicane, chicanery, deception, devilry, double dealing, fourberie, fraud, funny business*, knavery, machinations, monkey business*, sharp practice*, shenanigans*, skullduggery*, subterfuge, trickery; concepts 59,384 Ant. faithfulness …   New thesaurus

  • hanky-panky — ► NOUN informal, humorous ▪ behaviour considered improper but not seriously so. ORIGIN perhaps an alteration of hokey pokey (see HOKEY COKEY(Cf. ↑hokey cokey)) …   English terms dictionary

  • hanky-panky — [haŋ′kē paŋ′kē] n. [altered ? after (SLEIGHT OF) HAND < HOCUS POCUS] Informal trickery or deception, orig. as used in tricks of illusion or sleight of hand, now esp. in connection with shady dealings or illicit sexual activity …   English World dictionary

  • Hanky-panky — The expression hanky panky has more than one meaning, generally used to mean any number of activities of which the speaker does not approve, as in I think there was some hanky panky with the last election. or The kids were up to some hanky panky… …   Wikipedia

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