nounslang, historical US
(A name for) a perpetrator of any of various ruses to raise prices or otherwise cheat buyers at an auction; specifically a fraudulent bidder, especially in a mock auction; a con man or swindler. Compare "bybidder", "puffer".
adjectiveslang, historical US
Of, relating to, or characteristic of such a ruse; worthless; sham.
Mid 19th century. Probably from Peter Funk, the name of a character distinguished by his deceitful business practices in the novel The Perils of Pearl Street by Asa Greene; the name may in turn have been influenced by funk.