I'm looking to translate two very similar, but subtly different words from Romanian into English. The words are "tertip" and "păcăleală", if that's any help.
They both can be roughly translated into the result of tricking, fooling or deceiving someone.
The first is the act of tricking someone while having a definite nefarious intent in mind.
The second involves tricking someone in a naive, harmless way or presenting someone with a lie that both know is a lie, but both are comfortable pretending it is not.
Examples for the first, malevolent variation:
- The trick of entering the building with a fake ID proved to be wondrous.
- The trick of deceiving the mayor into signing the fake papers made him an unwilling accomplice to the crime.
Now for the second, naive or self-deceiving one:
- The trick (farce) he played on his little sister when he told her the sun was out and they needed to buy a new one was very funny.
- The lie (as in self-consolation) the fox tells itself when it cannot reach the ripe grapes is that they would have been sour anyway.
The reason I chose to illustrate both meanings for the second word is that (self)deceit would have worked for it if it were not for that nuance of mild in Romanian. You can view this subtle difference as the one between a straight-up lie and a "white" lie.
Now, do you know any words that would fit these criteria or will I have to settle for a more generic word from the ones mentioned in the beginning?
Thank you in advance!