Palter? Really? Yes, really.

palter? Palter? Really? Yes, really.

Lauren McDonald shared a post here on LI yesterday — the one seen below, which is very worth reading — and for a minute I thought the headline had a typo in it.

The headline read “Why One Must Not Palter When Negotiating”


Yes, I thought the word was meant to be falter, which it might have been. So I looked up palter, just to confirm that I knew it had to be wrong.

Gotcha! Actually, GOT ME! It’s not a typo at all. But it is a word I’d never heard or seen before, as far as I can remember. It hasn’t shown up in any crossword puzzles I’ve done, and it hasn’t shown up on any quizzes either (at least, not yet).

But it IS a perfectly good word, and I thought I’d pass it along, while also showing you the interesting original post from which it came. Thanks, Lauren McDonald, for sharing it in the first place!

Here are the definitions for palter, according to the American Heritage Dictionary (as found on

  1. To talk or act insincerely or misleadingly; equivocate.
  2. To be capricious; to trifle.
  3. To quibble, especially in bargaining.


And from Wiktionary:

  1. To talk insincerely; to prevaricate or equivocate in speech or actions.
  2. (now rare) To trifle.
  3. To haggle.
  4. To babble; to chatter.


So, now you know. Go forth and spread the news!

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