When plants sprout, they begin to grow, or they put forth buds or shoots. Another way to talk about this early stage of growth is with the verb burgeon, which is defined as “to begin to grow, as a bud” or “to put forth buds, shoots, etc.” These meanings are very close, but like two tendrils striving for their own spot in the sun, sprout and burgeon have, over time, established their own semantic territories, with sprout being the preferred term for all things plant-based, and burgeon taking on a life of its own as the go-to verb for talking about people, places, and things that are growing or developing quickly, or that are flourishing—a sense that is more synonymous with the verbs thrive, flourish, and blossom.
To instill something is to infuse it slowly or gradually into the mind or feelings of another. This verb is usually used of desirable qualities such as a sense of humility or self-confidence. To inculcate something, such as a particular value or principle, is to implant it by repeated statement or admonition, or, to teach it persistently and earnestly. Both of these verbs deal with imparting information or ideas to an individual or group of people, but instill takes a slow, gradual, drip-by-drip approach. Inculcate, on the other hand, goes the more direct and forceful route. You see, inculcate comes from the Latin verb inculcāre meaning “to trample, impress, stuff in,” which sheds light on the occasional (though now obsolete) use of this imposing verb to mean “to tread upon” or “to trample.”
To deceive someone is to mislead them by false appearance or statement. Hoodwink is a close synonym, defined succinctly as “to deceive or trick.” But to understand the nuances in how hoodwink is used, it is helpful to be familiar with the term’s history. Hoodwink’s earliest sense in English was “to blindfold,” as in to prevent sight by covering the eyes. It is no longer used that way, but we can think of the deceptive sense as blindfolding mentally or making one blind to the truth by way of persuasion or manipulation. Like bamboozle, hoodwink appears in a variety of contexts ranging from lighthearted and playful (Snoopy hoodwinks his owner, Charlie Brown, by wearing a mustache, for instance) to the more serious (a politician who hoodwinks the public).