hokum

[ hoh-kuh m ]
/ ˈhoʊ kəm /

noun

out-and-out nonsense; bunkum.
elements of low comedy introduced into a play, novel, etc., for the laughs they may bring.
sentimental matter of an elementary or stereotyped kind introduced into a play or the like.
false or irrelevant material introduced into a speech, essay, etc., in order to arouse interest, excitement, or amusement.

Origin of hokum

1915–20, Americanism; probably blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hokum

  • Ye see, Hokum he got thirty-seven cents' worth o' lemons and sperit.

    Oldtown Fireside Stories|Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Senator Gonzales was fond of the Society's crackpot receptionist, and he knew exactly what kind of hokum would please her most.

    Psichopath|Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for hokum

hokum

/ (ˈhəʊkəm) /

noun slang

claptrap; bunk
obvious or hackneyed material of a sentimental nature in a play, film, etc

Word Origin for hokum

C20: probably a blend of hocus-pocus and bunkum
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 hokum

hokum


n.

1917, theater slang, "melodramatic, exaggerated acting," probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (2)), and perhaps influenced by or based on hocus-pocus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper