- insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents.
- insincere talk; claptrap; humbug.
Origin of bunkum
Americanism; after speech in 16th Congress, 1819–21, by F. Walker, who said he was bound to speak for Buncombe (N.C. county in district he represented)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for buncombe
What is the origin of the term “buncombe” as popularly used?Southern Literature From 1579-1895
But as for this theory that all wisdom resides in the people, it's buncombe.A Far Country, Complete
Of his landlord, Buncombe, he gradually learnt all that he cared to know.The Whirlpool
Some kind of buncombe, of course, replied Tom, thoughtfully.The Motor Boat Club in Florida
H. Irving Hancock
Had that fainting spell been buncombe for his benefit as well as Florence's?The Million Dollar Mystery
- a variant spelling (esp US) of bunkum
- empty talk; nonsense
- mainly US empty or insincere speechmaking by a politician to please voters or gain publicity
C19: after Buncombe, a county in North Carolina, alluded to in an inane speech by its Congressional representative Felix Walker (about 1820)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for buncombe
see bunk (n.2).
variant of Buncombe.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper