Ask the Marshall – four-flusher

What does “four-flusher” mean?

Walter Serafin
Shawnee, Kansas

Wordsmith Ramon F. Adams defined a four-flusher as a bluffer, an incompetent person pretending to be competent. Contemporary wordsmith Win Blevins adds: “A trickster, a bluffer. It comes from poker and the daring experience of bluffing that you have a flush, when you only have four cards of a flush.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official state historian and the vice president of the Wild West History Association.  His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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