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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I like to call it a Disguised Word™.
Find the rule that decides whether a word is a Disguised Word™ or not, and why they are called so.

Disguised Word™ Non-Disguised Word™
ARENA FIELD
BANJO CELLO
BEEF MEAT
CRIB BUNK
FUSION BLEND
HAWK EAGLE
HOTEL LODGE
IBEX GOAT
INGOT BLOCK
JOLLY HAPPY
MARRY WED
SATIN BURLAP
SHALE ROCK
SPOT FIND
TIMER WATCH

CSV Version:

Disguised Word™,Non-Disguised Word™
ARENA,FIELD
BANJO,CELLO
BEEF,MEAT
CRIB,BUNK
FUSION,BLEND
HAWK,EAGLE
HOTEL,LODGE
IBEX,GOAT
INGOT,BLOCK
JOLLY,HAPPY
MARRY,WED
SATIN,BURLAP
SHALE,ROCK
SPOT,FIND
TIMER,WATCH
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I think a disguised word is one which

forms another word after applying a Rot(x) / Caesar cipher with an arbitrary shift. Non-disguised words do not.

arena -> 17 -> river
banjo -> 4 -> ferns
beef -> 10 -> loop
crib -> 9 -> lark
fusion -> 6 -> layout
hawk -> 8 -> pies
hotel -> 7 -> ovals
ibex -> 7 -> pile
ingot -> 20 -> chain
jolly -> 19 -> cheer
marry -> 20 -> gulls
satin -> 20 -> munch
shale -> 19 -> latex
spot -> 11 -> daze
timer -> 7 -> aptly

They're called disguised words because

The words act as a cipher text

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  • $\begingroup$ Spot on! Hmm, that's not so great, I was working with this list of over 58k words and had assumed it would be exhaustive. $\endgroup$ – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 15 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, so a Disguised Word is very similar to a Rotting Word then... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jun 15 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ @KabirKanhaArora FWIW, when it comes to things like this I usually work with this list of around 466k words. When in doubt, I double-check them in MW because admittedly it does contain some "words" which appear to be nonsense $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Jun 15 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ @LukasRotter thanks! I've re-run my code with the new list (btw, 466k, crazy!) and updated two entries in the table to correct the puzzle, to account for obscure words which may otherwise seem to violate the rule. Btw, I was afraid this might happen, so I picked pairs that contained both fairly common words. $\endgroup$ – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 15 at 19:12

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