phony (adj.) "not genuine," 1900, phoney, perhaps an alteration of FAWNEY (Cf. fawney) "gilt brass ring used by swindlers." The noun meaning "phony person or thing" is attested from 1902.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • phony — pho ny (f[=o] n[=e]), a. [Also spelled {phoney}.] [Compar. {phonier}; superl. {phoniest}.] 1. imitating something superior; intended to deceive; fraudulent; having a misleading appearance; not genuine; counterfeit; fake; as, a phony diamond; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phony — pho ny (f[=o] n[=e]), n. something or someone that is phony. [Also spelled {phoney}.] [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phony — index bogus, fictitious, fraudulent, imitation, specious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • phony — adj *counterfeit, spurious, bogus, fake, sham, pseudo, pinchbeck …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • phony — [adj] fake, false affected, artificial, assumed, bogus, counterfeit, forged, imitation, pseudo, put on*, sham*, spurious, trick; concept 582 Ant. genuine, real, sincere …   New thesaurus

  • -phony — [fə nē, fō′nē] [< Gr phōnē, a sound: see PHONO ] combining form forming nouns a (specified kind of) sound [polyphony] …   English World dictionary

  • phony — ☆ phony [fō′nē ] adj. phonier, phoniest [altered < Brit thieves argot fawney, gilt ring (passed off as gold by swindlers) < Ir fáinne] Informal not genuine; false, counterfeit, spurious, pretentious, etc. n. pl. phonies Informal 1.… …   English World dictionary

  • phony — 1. mod. bogus; fake. □ This money looks phony to me. □ I can’t stand phony vanilla flavoring. 2. n. someone or something bogus. □ That guy is a real phony! □ Look …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • phony — I. adjective also phoney (phonier; est) Etymology: perhaps alteration of fawney gilded brass ring used in the fawney rig, a confidence game, from Irish fáinne ring, from Old Irish ánne more at anus Date: 1900 not genuine or real: as a. (1)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • phony — phonily, adv. phoniness, n. /foh nee/, adj., phonier, phoniest, n., pl. phonies, v., phonied, phonying. adj. 1. not real or genuine; fake; counterfeit: a phony diamond. 2. false or deceiving; not truthful; concocted: a phony explanation. 3.… …   Universalium

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