Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for August 26, 2019 is:
wangle • WANG-gul • verb
1 : to resort to trickery
2 : to adjust or manipulate for personal or fraudulent ends
3 : to make or get by devious means : finagle
“He wangled an invitation to a White House Christmas party, where he and his wife posed for a photo with then-President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.” — Barbara Demick and Victoria Kim, The Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2019
“‘Our Mayor is the most appealing man I know,’ [Franklin D. Roosevelt] said on one occasion. ‘He comes to Washington and tells me a sad story. The tears run down my cheeks and the tears run down his cheeks and the next thing I know, he has wangled another $50 million out of me.'” — Mason B. Williams, City of Ambition, 2013
Did you know?
Wangle, a verb of uncertain origin, has been used in its newest sense, “to obtain by sly methods,” since at least the early 20th century. Occasionally, one sees wrangle used similarly, as in “wrangle a huge salary,” but more typically it means “to argue or engage in controversy.” Did the “obtain” sense of wrangle evolve through confusion with wangle? Not exactly. Wrangle was used with the meaning “to obtain by arguing or bargaining” since the early 17th century, long before wangle appeared in the language. The sense had all but disappeared until recent decades, however, and its revival may very well have been influenced by wangle. The “obtain” sense of wangle is currently more common than that use of wrangle, but both are considered standard.