nounslang, rare British
1A scheme or device (typically for some dishonest purpose), a ploy, a dodge, a trick; (sometimes more vaguely) a thing, an item.
In earliest use apparently specifically with reference to forgery.
2As mass noun: fraudulent manipulation or counterfeiting; faking, fakery.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Lexicon Balatronicum: a dictionary of buckish slang, university wit, and pickpocket eloquence. From fake + -ment.