- 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 bunkum
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.Beauchamp's Career, Complete
- 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 bunkum
variant of Buncombe.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper