Top 55 Slang For Shenanigans – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to mischief, tomfoolery, and all-around fun, there’s a whole world of slang for shenanigans waiting to be explored. From harmless pranks to wild adventures, we’ve got you covered with a collection of terms that will have you laughing and nodding in agreement. Join us as we unravel the playful language used to describe those moments of pure chaos and joy. Get ready to up your slang game and dive into the world of hilarious antics!

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1. Tomfoolery

This term refers to playful or mischievous actions that are often considered foolish or silly. It is used to describe humorous or light-hearted activities that may involve pranks or practical jokes.

  • For example, “The group of friends engaged in some tomfoolery by putting whoopee cushions on all the chairs.”
  • During a comedy show, the comedian might say, “Let’s have some tomfoolery and play a prank on the audience.”
  • A parent might scold their child, saying, “Stop the tomfoolery and focus on your homework.”

2. Hijinks

Hijinks refers to playful or rowdy behavior that is often characterized by mischief or pranks. It is used to describe energetic and often mischievous activities that may involve practical jokes or playful teasing.

  • For instance, “The group of friends caused quite a stir with their hijinks at the party.”
  • During a school trip, a teacher might say, “I expect no hijinks from you all while we visit the museum.”
  • A comedian might say, “Get ready for some hilarious hijinks as I take the stage.”

3. Monkey business

Monkey business refers to deceptive or dishonest behavior that is often characterized by trickery or deceit. It is used to describe actions that are sneaky or underhanded, often with the intent to deceive or manipulate.

  • For example, “The politician was accused of engaging in monkey business to gain an advantage in the election.”
  • A teacher might warn their students, saying, “No monkey business during the exam. I’m watching you.”
  • A parent might scold their child, saying, “I won’t tolerate any monkey business. Tell me the truth.”

4. Antics

Antics refer to playful or attention-seeking behavior that is often characterized by dramatic or exaggerated actions. It is used to describe lively and often amusing activities that may involve showing off or seeking attention.

  • For instance, “The comedian’s comedic antics had the audience in stitches.”
  • During a party, someone might say, “Let’s see what kind of antics John will come up with this time.”
  • A teacher might describe a student, saying, “She’s always up to some antics to get the class’s attention.”

5. Malarkey

Malarkey refers to nonsense or foolish talk that is often characterized by exaggerated or false statements. It is used to describe statements or claims that are considered to be untrue or without merit.

  • For example, “Don’t listen to his malarkey. He’s just trying to sell you something.”
  • During a heated argument, someone might say, “Enough with the malarkey! Stick to the facts.”
  • A parent might dismiss their child’s excuses, saying, “I’ve heard enough of your malarkey. Tell me the truth.”

6. Ruckus

This term refers to a noisy or chaotic disturbance or uproar. It often implies a sense of disorder or unruliness.

  • For example, “The party next door was so loud, it caused quite a ruckus in the neighborhood.”
  • During a protest, a group might create a ruckus to draw attention to their cause.
  • If someone starts a fight in a bar, they are likely to cause a ruckus.

7. Skulduggery

Skulduggery refers to dishonest or underhanded actions, often with the intention of tricking or deceiving others.

  • For instance, “The politician was involved in a scandal of financial skulduggery.”
  • In a mystery novel, the detective uncovers a web of skulduggery as they solve the case.
  • A person might say, “I don’t trust him, he’s always up to some skulduggery.”

8. Capers

Capers are playful or mischievous escapades or adventures. The term often implies a sense of joy or excitement in engaging in playful activities.

  • For example, “The group of friends went on wild capers during their summer vacation.”
  • Children might engage in capers like playing pranks or exploring forbidden places.
  • A person might say, “Let’s go on some capers this weekend and have some fun!”

9. Pranks

Pranks are playful or mischievous practical jokes or tricks played on others for amusement. They are often meant to surprise or confuse the target.

  • For instance, “The students pulled off a hilarious prank on their teacher by filling the classroom with balloons.”
  • During April Fools’ Day, people play pranks on each other, like putting salt in the sugar bowl.
  • A person might say, “I love playing pranks on my friends, it always keeps things interesting.”

10. Escapades

Escapades are exciting or daring adventures or exploits. The term often implies a sense of thrill or risk in engaging in adventurous activities.

  • For example, “The group of friends embarked on thrilling escapades during their backpacking trip.”
  • A person might say, “I’m always up for new escapades, life is too short to play it safe.”
  • In a travel blog, the author recounts their escapades while exploring remote destinations.

11. High jinks

High jinks refers to lively or rowdy behavior, often involving pranks or playful mischief.

  • For example, a group of friends might engage in high jinks by pulling practical jokes on each other.
  • During a party, someone might suggest, “Let’s have some high jinks and play a fun game.”
  • A parent might scold their children for engaging in high jinks by saying, “Stop those high jinks and behave yourselves!”

12. Buffoonery

Buffoonery refers to silly or clownish behavior that is meant to entertain or amuse.

  • For instance, a comedian might engage in buffoonery by telling jokes and performing funny acts.
  • During a school talent show, a student might showcase their buffoonery by doing a comedic skit.
  • Someone might comment on a funny video by saying, “That cat’s antics are pure buffoonery!”

13. Monkeyshines

Monkeyshines refers to playful or mischievous behavior, often characterized by pranks or tricks.

  • For example, a group of children might engage in monkeyshines by playing practical jokes on each other.
  • During a camping trip, friends might have some fun and engage in monkeyshines by hiding each other’s belongings.
  • A teacher might scold their students for engaging in monkeyshines by saying, “Enough with the monkeyshines! It’s time to focus.”

14. Shindig

Shindig refers to a lively and energetic party or gathering, often involving music, dancing, and socializing.

  • For instance, a group of friends might throw a shindig to celebrate a special occasion.
  • During a wedding reception, guests might hit the dance floor and join in the shindig.
  • Someone might invite their friends by saying, “Come over to my place this weekend for a shindig!”

15. Mischief

Mischief refers to playful or naughty behavior that is meant to cause minor trouble or annoyance.

  • For example, children might get into mischief by drawing on the walls with crayons.
  • During a sleepover, friends might plan some mischief by playing pranks on each other.
  • A parent might scold their child for getting into mischief by saying, “You’re always up to some sort of mischief!”

16. Hooliganism

Hooliganism refers to disruptive or unruly behavior, often associated with a group of individuals causing trouble or engaging in mischief.

  • For example, during a soccer match, fans might engage in hooliganism by starting fights or vandalizing property.
  • Hooliganism can also refer to acts of violence or vandalism committed by a group of individuals, such as a gang.
  • A news headline might read, “Hooliganism erupts at music festival, resulting in multiple arrests.”

17. Folly

Folly refers to playful or foolish behavior, often characterized by a lack of seriousness or common sense.

  • For instance, a group of friends might engage in folly by pulling pranks on each other.
  • A person might be described as engaging in folly if they consistently make poor decisions without considering the consequences.
  • A parent might say to their child, “Stop your folly and focus on your schoolwork.”

18. Skullduggery

Skullduggery refers to underhanded or sneaky behavior, often involving deceit or trickery.

  • For example, a politician might be accused of skullduggery if they engage in corrupt practices to gain an advantage.
  • Skullduggery can also refer to acts of deception or manipulation in personal relationships or business dealings.
  • A detective might say, “I suspect there’s some skullduggery going on behind the scenes.”

19. Horseplay

Horseplay refers to rough or playful behavior, often characterized by physical activity or pranks.

  • For instance, children might engage in horseplay by playfully wrestling or chasing each other.
  • Horseplay can sometimes lead to accidents or injuries if not done with caution.
  • A teacher might say to a group of rowdy students, “No more horseplay in the classroom!”

20. Chicanery

Chicanery refers to the use of trickery or deception to achieve one’s goals.

  • For example, a con artist might employ chicanery to swindle unsuspecting victims out of their money.
  • Chicanery can also refer to the use of clever or manipulative tactics to gain an advantage in a competitive situation.
  • A lawyer might be accused of chicanery if they use unethical tactics to win a case.
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21. Rascality

This term refers to engaging in playful or mischievous behavior, often with a slightly negative connotation. It implies a sense of trickery or deceit.

  • For example, “The children were up to their usual rascality, playing pranks on each other.”
  • In a story about a group of friends, one might say, “Their rascality often got them into trouble, but it made for some fun adventures.”
  • A person describing a prank might say, “It was a classic example of rascality, with everyone in on the joke.”

22. Frivolity

Frivolity refers to behavior or activities that are light-hearted, carefree, and lacking in seriousness or importance. It often implies a sense of playfulness or silliness.

  • For instance, “The party was filled with laughter and frivolity.”
  • In a discussion about work-life balance, one might say, “It’s important to have moments of frivolity to relieve stress and enjoy life.”
  • A person describing a comedy show might say, “The comedian’s jokes brought a sense of frivolity to the audience.”

23. Nonsense

Nonsense refers to words or actions that are absurd, illogical, or lacking in meaning or sense. It is often used to dismiss or criticize something as foolish or irrelevant.

  • For example, “Stop talking nonsense and get to the point.”
  • In a heated argument, one might say, “Don’t listen to him, he’s just spouting nonsense.”
  • A person describing a confusing situation might say, “It was complete nonsense, with no clear explanation for what was happening.”

24. Racket

In the context of slang for shenanigans, racket refers to a noisy or disruptive activity that causes a disturbance. It can also be used to describe a fraudulent or illegal scheme.

  • For instance, “The neighbors were making a racket, keeping everyone awake.”
  • In a conversation about scams, one might say, “He’s involved in some shady racket, trying to swindle people out of their money.”
  • A person describing a chaotic event might say, “It was a real racket, with people running around and shouting.”

25. Jiggery-pokery

Jiggery-pokery is a term used to describe deceptive or dishonest behavior, often involving trickery or manipulation. It implies a sense of cunning or slyness.

  • For example, “He used some jiggery-pokery to convince them to agree.”
  • In a discussion about politics, one might say, “There’s too much jiggery-pokery happening behind the scenes.”
  • A person describing a clever trick might say, “His jiggery-pokery fooled everyone, and they never saw it coming.”

26. Capering

Capering refers to engaging in playful mischief or pranks. It is often used to describe someone who is mischievous or engaging in lighthearted shenanigans.

  • For example, a group of friends might go capering around town, pulling harmless pranks on unsuspecting strangers.
  • During a party, someone might start capering around, putting on silly costumes and making everyone laugh.
  • A mischievous child might be scolded for capering around the house and causing a mess.

27. Larks

Larks refers to mischievous or playful activities. It is often used to describe actions that are done for fun or amusement, often with a hint of mischief.

  • For instance, a group of friends might go out on a night of larks, exploring the city and getting into harmless trouble.
  • During a family gathering, cousins might engage in larks, playing pranks on each other and causing laughter.
  • A mischievous teenager might be scolded for getting involved in larks instead of focusing on their responsibilities.

28. Trickery

Trickery refers to the use of deception or cunning behavior to achieve a desired outcome. It often involves playing pranks or fooling others for amusement.

  • For example, a magician’s act relies on trickery to create illusions and deceive the audience.
  • During April Fools’ Day, people engage in various forms of trickery, such as setting up fake scenarios or playing practical jokes on others.
  • A con artist relies on trickery to deceive people and gain their trust for personal gain.
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29. Pratfalls

Pratfalls refer to foolish or clumsy actions that often result in a comical or embarrassing situation. It is often used to describe someone who is prone to making silly mistakes or tripping over themselves.

  • For instance, a character in a slapstick comedy might perform pratfalls, falling down or tripping over objects for comedic effect.
  • During a talent show, a participant might attempt a daring stunt but end up in a series of pratfalls, eliciting laughter from the audience.
  • A clumsy person might be known for their frequent pratfalls, often becoming the source of amusement among their friends.

30. Fiddle-faddle

Fiddle-faddle refers to trivial or foolish talk or actions. It is often used to describe something that is considered silly or unimportant.

  • For example, during a serious discussion, someone might dismiss another person’s argument as fiddle-faddle, considering it to be irrelevant or nonsensical.
  • A parent might scold their child for engaging in fiddle-faddle instead of focusing on their schoolwork.
  • When faced with a trivial task, someone might exclaim, “I don’t have time for this fiddle-faddle!”

31. Clowning around

This phrase refers to acting in a foolish or playful manner, often for entertainment or to amuse others.

  • For example, “The kids were clowning around in the backyard, pretending to be superheroes.”
  • During a break at work, coworkers might start clowning around, telling jokes and pulling pranks on each other.
  • A teacher might scold a student for clowning around in class, disrupting the learning environment.

32. Ruse

A ruse is a clever or deceitful action or strategy used to deceive or trick someone.

  • For instance, “The spy used a ruse to gain access to the enemy’s headquarters.”
  • In a game of poker, a player might use a ruse to bluff their opponents into folding their hands.
  • A scammer might employ a ruse to convince someone to give them personal information or money.

33. Caper

A caper is a playful or mischievous adventure or prank, often involving some level of risk or excitement.

  • For example, “The group of friends embarked on a caper to sneak into the abandoned amusement park.”
  • During a school trip, students might plan a caper to play a prank on their classmates.
  • In a comedy movie, the main characters might find themselves caught up in a series of capers, leading to hilarious situations.

34. Ploy

A ploy is a cunning or strategic maneuver or plan, often used to gain an advantage or achieve a desired outcome.

  • For instance, “The politician used a ploy to gain support from undecided voters.”
  • In a game of chess, a player might use a ploy to trap their opponent’s king and secure victory.
  • A salesperson might employ a ploy to convince customers to make a purchase, such as offering a limited-time discount.

35. Con

A con is a fraudulent or deceitful act or scheme, typically used to trick or deceive someone in order to gain something.

  • For example, “The scam artist ran a con, convincing people to invest in a fake business.”
  • In a heist movie, the main characters might plan and execute an elaborate con to steal a valuable artifact.
  • A person might warn others to be cautious of con artists who use various tactics to manipulate and exploit unsuspecting individuals.

36. Deception

Deception refers to the act of tricking or misleading someone in order to gain an advantage or achieve a desired outcome. It involves intentionally creating a false impression or withholding information.

  • For example, a magician might use deception to make an object disappear and then reappear.
  • In a spy movie, a character might use deception to infiltrate an enemy organization.
  • A person might feel betrayed if they discover that someone has been using deception to manipulate them.

37. Fraud

Fraud is a term used to describe dishonest or deceptive behavior that is intended to deceive or trick someone for personal gain. It often involves misrepresentation or the intentional use of false information.

  • For instance, someone might commit credit card fraud by using another person’s credit card without their knowledge.
  • A company might engage in fraud by misrepresenting their financial statements to investors.
  • A person might be a victim of fraud if they purchase a counterfeit product that was falsely advertised as genuine.

38. Scam

A scam is a fraudulent scheme or trick that is designed to deceive or defraud someone. It often involves the promise of a false benefit or reward in order to obtain money, information, or other valuable assets.

  • For example, an email scam might ask for personal information in order to claim a large inheritance.
  • A phone scammer might pretend to be a representative from a government agency in order to collect money.
  • A person might warn others about a potential scam by sharing their experience on social media.

39. Flimflam

Flimflam refers to deceptive or swindling behavior that is intended to deceive or trick someone. It often involves the use of clever or persuasive tactics to manipulate others for personal gain.

  • For instance, a con artist might use flimflam to convince someone to invest in a fake business venture.
  • A person might feel foolish if they realize they have been the victim of flimflam.
  • In a comedy film, a character might use flimflam to trick someone into doing something embarrassing.

40. Bamboozle

Bamboozle means to deceive or confuse someone through trickery or deceit. It involves intentionally misleading or tricking someone in order to gain an advantage or achieve a desired outcome.

  • For example, a magician might use sleight of hand to bamboozle an audience.
  • A person might feel frustrated if they are bamboozled by a complex set of instructions.
  • In a game of poker, a player might try to bamboozle their opponents by bluffing about the strength of their hand.

41. Hoodwink

To hoodwink someone means to deceive or trick them into believing something that is not true or to manipulate them for personal gain. It is often used when someone is being dishonest or trying to take advantage of another person.

  • For example, “He hoodwinked his friends into thinking he had won the lottery.”
  • In a discussion about scams, someone might say, “Don’t let yourself get hoodwinked by those fake lottery emails.”
  • A person might warn others, “Be careful not to be hoodwinked by smooth-talking salespeople.”

42. Swindle

To swindle someone means to cheat or defraud them out of money, property, or something of value. It implies a deliberate act of deception or manipulation to gain an unfair advantage or profit at someone else’s expense.

  • For instance, “He swindled his elderly neighbor out of her life savings.”
  • In a conversation about scams, someone might say, “Beware of online schemes that aim to swindle you out of your personal information.”
  • A person might warn others, “Don’t fall victim to those who try to swindle you with get-rich-quick schemes.”

43. Conundrum

A conundrum refers to a difficult or confusing problem or situation that is challenging to solve or understand. It often implies a puzzling or perplexing situation that requires careful consideration and thought.

  • For example, “The conundrum of how to balance work and personal life.”
  • In a discussion about ethics, someone might say, “The trolley problem presents a moral conundrum.”
  • A person might describe a complex situation as a conundrum, saying, “Finding a solution to climate change is a global conundrum.”

44. Jape

A jape is a playful or mischievous prank or joke intended to amuse or entertain. It is often used to describe a light-hearted act of mischief or a harmless trick.

  • For instance, “He played a jape on his coworker by filling their office with balloons.”
  • In a conversation about April Fools’ Day, someone might say, “I can’t wait to see what japes people come up with this year.”
  • A person might share a funny story, saying, “My friends pulled a hilarious jape on me during our camping trip.”

45. Jest

A jest refers to a humorous or playful remark or action made with the intention of entertaining or amusing others. It is often used to describe a lighthearted and witty expression of humor.

  • For example, “He made a jest about the weather to lighten the mood.”
  • In a discussion about comedy, someone might say, “A good stand-up comedian can deliver jokes and jests effortlessly.”
  • A person might share a funny anecdote, saying, “I’ll never forget the jest my friend made at my wedding.”

46. Mummery

This term refers to silly or ridiculous behavior that is often done to entertain or deceive others. It can also refer to a performance or show that involves exaggerated or absurd actions.

  • For example, “Stop with the mummery and start taking this seriously.”
  • In a discussion about comedy, someone might say, “Physical comedy often involves a lot of mummery.”
  • A person describing a prank might say, “We pulled off a great mummery on April Fools’ Day.”

47. Piffle

This word is used to describe something that is considered silly, foolish, or insignificant. It can also refer to meaningless or empty talk.

  • For instance, “Don’t listen to his piffle, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
  • In a conversation about politics, someone might say, “All these promises are just piffle.”
  • A person dismissing a rumor might say, “That’s just piffle, there’s no truth to it.”

48. Rigmarole

This term refers to a complex or convoluted procedure, often one that involves unnecessary steps or confusion. It can also be used to describe a long and tedious process.

  • For example, “I had to go through a whole rigmarole just to get a simple answer.”
  • In a discussion about bureaucracy, someone might say, “The rigmarole of filling out paperwork can be frustrating.”
  • A person describing a difficult task might say, “Getting this project done is going to be a rigmarole.”

49. Shtick

This word refers to a person’s unique style, characteristic, or gimmick that is used to create humor or entertain others. It can also describe a routine or act that a performer is known for.

  • For instance, “His shtick involves a lot of physical comedy and slapstick.”
  • In a conversation about stand-up comedy, someone might say, “Every comedian needs to develop their own shtick.”
  • A person describing a funny gesture might say, “That little shtick he does always gets a laugh.”

50. Trick

This term refers to a cunning or clever action that is intended to deceive or fool someone. It can also describe a playful or mischievous act.

  • For example, “He played a trick on his friends by hiding their keys.”
  • In a discussion about magic, someone might say, “The magician’s trick left everyone amazed.”
  • A person describing a prank might say, “We pulled off a great trick on April Fools’ Day.”

51. Wile

A wile refers to a cunning or deceptive act, often used to trick or deceive someone. It can involve clever manipulation or strategizing to achieve a desired outcome.

  • For example, “He used his wiles to convince her to lend him money.”
  • In a game of poker, a player might use their wiles to bluff their opponents.
  • A con artist relies on their wiles to deceive unsuspecting victims.
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52. Shenanigan

Shenanigan refers to a mischievous or playful act, often with the intention of causing trouble or amusement. It can involve pranks, tricks, or other playful behavior.

  • For instance, “The kids were up to their usual shenanigans, hiding each other’s toys.”
  • During a party, someone might say, “Let’s start some shenanigans and have some fun!”
  • A group of friends might plan shenanigans for April Fool’s Day.

53. Monkeyshine

Monkeyshine refers to silly or mischievous behavior, often done for entertainment or amusement. It can involve playful antics, jokes, or tricks.

  • For example, “The comedian entertained the audience with his monkeyshines.”
  • During a family gathering, someone might engage in monkeyshines to make everyone laugh.
  • A group of friends might engage in monkeyshines during a sleepover.

54. Prank

A prank refers to a mischievous practical joke played on someone for amusement or to elicit a reaction. It can involve tricks, hoaxes, or humorous deception.

  • For instance, “He pulled a prank on his coworker by filling their office with balloons.”
  • During Halloween, someone might play a prank by jumping out and scaring their friends.
  • A group of friends might plan a prank on April Fool’s Day.

55. Clowning

Clowning refers to engaging in silly or comedic behavior, often for the purpose of entertainment or amusement. It can involve exaggerated gestures, funny faces, or physical comedy.

  • For example, “The comedian had the audience in stitches with his clowning.”
  • During a talent show, someone might showcase their skills in clowning.
  • A group of friends might engage in clowning to lighten the mood.