"The mark is here! The mark is here!"
This is a common phrase you'll hear if you work on a prank show, but what does it mean? The "mark" is the unsuspecting person who is being pranked. Merriam-Webster online dictionary clearly defines the word mark as follows: a victim or prospective victim of a swindle. In this case, the "mark" is very simply the person who the prank will be played on.
The http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/ defines the term in further detail below.
The "mark," or victim, may also be just about anyone who wants something. Con artists prey on human desires for money, health, happiness, and even the desire to help others. Some may argue that con artists are a sort of Robin Hood, nobly cheating the greedy and dishonest out of their money; hence the old adage, "you can't cheat an honest man." In many cases, this holds true, as many cons exploit the greed and willingness to go "around the law" in their victims. Many cons dangle the prospect of "something for nothing (or very little)" in front of their marks.
However, there are just as many cons that don't depend on greedy or dishonest marks; many scams involving the elderly and "charity" scams often exploit the fear or good intentions of their marks. Some believe that an intelligent, educated person is much more difficult to con, as he or she would more easily recognize an offer that sounded "too good to be true." In actuality, this belief of invulnerability makes one a good target. Good con artists have a great deal of charm and intelligence, and a good con man can make just about anything sound reasonable.
Defining the language of a prank.
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