Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If someone is trying to make people underestimate him for some purpose, what would be a word for this kind of person or action?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

One term is sandbagging.

From the current Wikipedia entry for sandbagging:

Deceiving someone by pretending to be weak.

share|improve this answer

Another term with a fairly specific use is hustle. It's most often used in the context of pool (billiards) players, who downplay their skill in order to attract opponents. Once the newcomer gets comfortable winning games with relatively small bets, the hustler raises the stakes and wins a large sum quickly.

From Merriam-Webster:


d. to lure less skillful players into competing against oneself at (a gambling game)
hustle pool

share|improve this answer
+1 for this much more common and longer-established word than "sandbag". –  FumbleFingers Sep 17 '11 at 16:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.