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buncombe

[buhng-kuh m]
noun
  1. bunkum.
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bunkum

or bun·combe

[buhng-kuh m]
noun
  1. insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents.
  2. insincere talk; claptrap; humbug.
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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

Historical Examples

  • What is the origin of the term “buncombe” as popularly used?

    Southern Literature From 1579-1895

    Louise Manly

  • But as for this theory that all wisdom resides in the people, it's buncombe.

    A Far Country, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • Of his landlord, Buncombe, he gradually learnt all that he cared to know.

    The Whirlpool

    George Gissing

  • Some kind of buncombe, of course, replied Tom, thoughtfully.

  • Had that fainting spell been buncombe for his benefit as well as Florence's?


British Dictionary definitions for buncombe

buncombe

noun
  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of bunkum
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bunkum

buncombe

noun
  1. empty talk; nonsense
  2. mainly US empty or insincere speechmaking by a politician to please voters or gain publicity
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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

Word Origin and History for buncombe

n.

see bunk (n.2).

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bunkum

n.

variant of Buncombe.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper