In Ocean's Eight (2018), Debbie explains Tammy how she fell for Claudie Becker:

Debbie: Lou and I were going through a rough patch, and I really wanted a big score of my own.

Tammy: So he roped you in?

Debbie: Mmm. Not really.

Tammy: What, told you the truth?

Debbie: Only way to con a con, right?

What does "Only way to con a con" mean?

  • Did you check the meanings of the words in a dictionary before posting? What did it say? Does the dictionary definition answer your question?
    – CJ Dennis
    Oct 10, 2022 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


The sentence uses two different meanings of 'con':

The only way to con (verb, perform a confidence trick on) a con (noun, a person who is themselves a confidence trickster) is to tell them the truth.

The intended meaning is that a habitual, professional liar is likely to consider that the truth is actually a trick, and thus be themselves deceived.

Using 'con' as a noun in this abbreviated way is an example of criminal slang. People who are not criminals or police officers may be more likely to say 'con man', 'con artist', 'confidence trickster', etc.

  • What does "truth" refer exactly in whole context? Oct 10, 2022 at 9:35
  • @MackRodney - I haven't seen the film, but, I should think 'truth' has its ordinary dictionary meaning. Oct 10, 2022 at 9:41
  • So according to given context, Claudie Becker conned Debbie here? Oct 10, 2022 at 9:44
  • @MackRodney - he employed guile to get her to do something, if that's what you mean. Oct 10, 2022 at 13:12

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