American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Parlor trick


Deceitful act. Cheap attempt to baffle or bamboozle someone. Before radio or TV, families would entertain themselves at home with a variety of fun and games, including sleight-of-hand trick., hence a parlor (living room) trick. It has evolved to imply trickery.

“The doctor says he hypnotizes people to stop smoking, but to me, it’s just a parlor trick.”

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