boondoggle / woggle
This term meaning a useless task or wasteful endeavor is of uncertain origin, although it is probably related to the word woggle, a term for a Boy Scout’s neckerchief fastener. Boondoggle shares this meaning of a neckerchief fastener or slide in Boy Scout circles and this is likely the original sense of the word.
Woggle makes its appearance in 1923 among scouts in Britain. From The Scout, 9 June 1923:
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Wear a scarf woggle.
Copyright 1997-2016, by David Wilton