con man

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con man

1. A man who exploits the vulnerability of others for his own sake by manipulating and taking advantage of their confidence (the act of which is known as a confidence trick or game). It is the common abbreviation of the full term, "confidence man." Be wary of con men who send emails claiming to be a bank or some other trustworthy establishment: they often ask for your personal bank details so as to have access to your finances.
2. By extension, a man who is skilled at duplicity, cajolery, or self-serving manipulation or persuasion. John is such a con man, always convincing others to pay for him on nights out under the pretense that he'll "pay them back later."
See also: con, man

con man

and con artist
n. someone who makes a living by swindling people. Gary is a con artist, but at least he’s not on the dole. I was taken by a real con man!
See also: con, man
References in periodicals archive ?
By way of a similar impression, the stranger in Balzac's story is called "stupid," while Melville's is a "simpleton." Not listed as among the numerous disguises Melville's confidence man assumes, (13) the man in cream-colors is thus part of a preamble, which plays upon a particular religious stage from which the Cosmopolitan can later offer his alternative speech on Providence the way Balzac prepares for his narrator's evaluation of Christian decrepitude to come in a local chapel.
The confidence man now enters the fray, sensing that the old miser is not doing so well against the skeptical Show-me Missourian.
It is only after two or three incarnations of the "Confidence Man" have come and gone that a semblance of continuity between them becomes apparent.
The confidence man's utter self-assurance can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.'"
"He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse."
Janney, a confidence man from Galt, Ontario, with no experience in aviation.
As for the teacher's closing remarks, on The Confidence Man as a bleak satire about the hoax of American democracy: The kids already seem to have got the point, without having to crack the book.
Into this plot he drags the unwitting Melville, whom, in the overdetermined manner of Melville's Confidence Man, he treats as both a friend and a pawn.
Nothing is as ridiculous as a confidence man being duped by his intended victim.
This totally ignores the valuable commentary of Gary Lindberg in his The Confidence Man in American Literature (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), which places this work in the context of a specific cultural crisis, linking 'confidence' to the key concepts of 'trust' and 'credit' in an entrepreneurial society confronted by practical, as well as theoretical, problems of signification.
She begins with Poe and Baudelaire and proceeds by way of Kant and some contemporary "culture wars" voices such as Gerald Graff, John Guillory, Tony Bennett, and George Will, then an extended discussion of such nineteenth-century French pedagogical figures as Condorcet, La Harpe, l'abbe Gregoire, Hegel, and Taine on science, such twentieth-century French educational thinkers as Lanson and Peguy, finally to the most detailed discussion in the book, of Melville's Confidence Man and Benito Cereno, and a conclusion by way of Emily Dickinson.
Collapsing, in the manner of Melville's The Confidence Man, two senses of the verb to act, Brown shows the regulatory force of the mask for blacks who must live up to white scripts even as they work them to other purposes.
He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse."
Felix Krull (in full The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man) Novel by Mann, Thomas, originally published in German as Die Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull in 1954; the first few chapters were published in 1922 as a short story.