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Avoid these words. Seriously.


or buncombe

[buhng-kuh m] /ˈbʌŋ kəm/
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) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bunkum
Historical Examples
  • That fifty dollars being put on for anybody else was bunkum.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • “All bunkum and wind,” said he, pitching them into a corner.

    Kilgorman Talbot Baines Reed
  • It's for them that all these atrocities are invented—most of them bunkum.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • I suppose you will say next that I hypnotised her—or some bunkum of that sort!

    The Seven Secrets William Le Queux
  • Tall talk's his jewelry: he must have his dandification in bunkum.

  • I regret, however, to have to write that this idea of self-sacrifice is really all bunkum.

    Egyptian Birds Charles Whymper
  • Slavery speeches are all bunkum; so are reform speeches, too.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • No, not they; they want Irish votes, that's all—it's bunkum.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • It must not be supposed, however, that this was all bunkum to Mr. Spokesly.

    Command William McFee
  • Then all that talk of yours about getting me out of danger was bunkum?

    Jacob's Ladder

    E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for bunkum


empty talk; nonsense
(mainly US) empty or insincere speechmaking by a politician to please voters or gain publicity
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for bunkum

variant of Buncombe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bunkum



bunk (1840s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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