Trick Him Into: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
June 29, 2023

The idiom "trick him into" refers to the act of deceiving or manipulating someone into doing something they would not normally do. This expression implies the use of cunning, strategy, or underhanded methods to achieve one's goals. Often, it involves playing on someone's emotions, desires, or fears to persuade them into certain actions or decisions.

While this idiom usually carries negative connotations of deception and manipulation, it can also be used in less malicious contexts. For example, you might 'trick someone into' eating their vegetables by disguising them in a tasty sauce. Nonetheless, the overarching theme is manipulation specifically, altering someone's perceptions or behaviors to suit your own aims.

In short:

The idiom "trick him into" refers to manipulating or deceiving someone into doing something they would not normally do.

What Does "Trick Him Into" Mean?

The phrase "trick him into" describes the act of cleverly or deceitfully inducing someone to perform an action or behave in a certain way. It's often used when the person being tricked is unaware of the manipulator's true intentions. The 'trickster' uses tactics that may be subtle or overt, ethical or unethical, depending on the context. This phrase can be applied in various contexts, both serious and lighthearted. It might refer to a complex con involving deception and psychological manipulation or a simple ploy to get a child to eat their vegetables. However, its main essence revolves around the theme of manipulation and its consequential actions.

  • Deception: At the core of this idiom is the concept of deceit. When you "trick someone into" doing something, you're typically not being honest about your intentions.
  • Manipulation: Alongside deception, this idiom involves manipulating someone's thoughts, feelings, or actions to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Action-Oriented: This idiom is typically followed by an action verb, explaining what the person is being tricked into doing.

Where Does "Trick Him Into" Come From?

The idiom "trick him into" or broadly "trick someone into" is a common English phrase referring to the act of deceiving someone. Hence, they do something or believe in something. Its origin and use are inherently tied to the history and development of the English language itself. The word 'trick' can be traced back to early Middle English, likely deriving from an Old North French word, 'tricherie', which means deceit or fraud. This term was widely used in Middle Ages literature and then found its way into common English vocabulary over time.

Historical Example

"If he could have once placed me at a disadvantage, he would have presumed upon his success to use me as a weapon against my own pride and trick him into..."

-Bleak House, Charles Dickens, 1852-53

10 Examples of "Trick Him Into" in Sentences

Here are ten examples of how "trick him into" can be used in various sentences:

  • Trying to trick him into thinking I was late for the meeting was my bad, as it only resulted in confusion and miscommunication.
  • I didn't want to clean the house, so I tricked him into doing it instead.
  • Despite her numerous attempts to trick him into believing she had changed, he could see through her facade and realized it was the same old story.
  • My mom always knows how to trick him into eating his vegetables.
  • The scammer tricked him into giving away his credit card details.
  • We can trick him into revealing the truth.
  • He tried to trick him into lodging a complaint against his coworker.
  • The magician tricked him into believing he had disappeared.
  • I tricked him into thinking I had forgotten his birthday.
  • He managed to trick him into thinking he was helping but ended up in a fix himself.

Examples of "Trick Him Into" in Pop Culture

The idiom "trick him into" is often used in literature, film, and music to drive narrative conflict.

Here are eight examples:

  • In the sitcom Friends, Rachel Green attempts to trick Ross Geller into admitting his feelings for her by playing a fake voicemail: "Rachel hoped she could trick him into revealing his true feelings. "
  • In the movie Inception, they trick him into believing a false reality to manipulate his decisions.
  • In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Alastor Moody (Barty Crouch Jr) tricks Harry Potter into touching the port key: "Moody had plans to trick him into the graveyard. "
  • In the song "The Great Pretender" by The Platters, the singer tricks him into thinking he's happy when he's actually lonely.
  • In Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen tricks Peeta Mellark about her emotions for the sake of survival: "Katniss thought she could trick him into believing her false affections. "
  • In The Matrix, the machines trick him into believing he's living in the real world when he's actually in a simulation.
  • On Game of Thrones, Arya Stark pretends to be someone else which ultimately tricks Walder Frey before murdering him: "She donned a new face, intending to trick him into delivering justice. "
  • John Le Carre's spy novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy contains a plot where Control tries to trick Karla into exposing himself: "Control played a dangerous game trying to trick him into hiding. "

Other Ways to Say "Trick Him Into" in Sentences

There are numerous ways to express the concept of "trick him into" in English. 

Some of these include:

  • I coaxed him into helping with the cleaning.
  • She deceived him into believing she was rich.
  • Heconned him into buying the worthless car.
  • We duped him into taking the blame for our mistake.
  • The salesman swindled him into buying overpriced merchandise.
  • She manipulated him into giving her another chance.
  • They fooled him into investing in their scheme.
  • The magician hoodwinked him into participating in the trick.
  • She bamboozled him into signing the contract.
  • I beguiled him into thinking the surprise party was next week.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Trick Him Into"

  • What does "trick him into" mean?

The phrase "trick him into" means to deceive or manipulate someone into doing something they would not normally do.

  • Where does the idiom "trick him into" originate from?

The phrase originates from everyday language and has been in use in English for centuries. The term 'trick' itself derives from the Old North French 'trichier', meaning 'to cheat'.

  • Is "trick him into" used only in negative contexts?

While often associated with negative actions, the idiom "trick him into" can also be used in lighter contexts, such as persuading a child to eat vegetables.

  • Can "trick him into" be used in formal writing?

Yes, the phrase can be used in formal contexts, although it may depend on the specific tone and style of the piece.

  • How can I replace "trick him into" in a sentence?

You can replace "trick him into" with similar phrases such as 'deceive him into', 'manipulate him into', or 'dupe him into'.

  • What is an example of "trick him into" in a sentence?

An example could be: "She managed to trick him into admitting his guilt."

  • Can "trick him into" be used with other pronouns?

Yes, you can use other pronouns. For example, you can say "trick her into", "trick them into", or "trick me into".

  • What is an example of "trick him into" used in popular culture?

An example from pop culture could be: "In the movie Inception, they trick him into believing a false reality to manipulate his decisions."

  • What is another way to say "trick him into"?

Other phrases that convey similar meanings include 'coax him into', 'deceive him into', and 'con him into'.

  • Can "trick him into" be used in a positive way?

While the phrase typically involves deception, it can be used in a less harmful or more playful manner, such as tricking a child into eating vegetables or tricking a friend into attending a surprise party.

Final Thoughts About "Trick Him Into"

The idiom “Trick him into” is a common expression used to convey the idea of manipulating or deceiving someone to do something they might not otherwise have done.

Key aspects of the phrase “Trick him into”:

  • This idiom refers to the act of persuading or manipulating someone into doing something, often through deceptive means.
  • It suggests that the person being tricked is not performing an action willingly but due to deception or manipulation.
  • The term does not always imply negative connotations; sometimes, it’s used in light-hearted contexts where the ‘tricking’ is harmless or for a good cause.
  • In everyday language, it can be used in various situations, from casual conversations to business scenarios. Examples might include tricking someone into admitting a truth, completing a task, or making a decision.
  • Understanding this idiom can help unravel hidden layers in communications and can be particularly important in comprehending subtleties of English language conversation and literature.

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