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Bunkum   Listen
noun
Bunkum, Buncombe  n.  Speech-making for the gratification of constituents, or to gain public applause; flattering talk for a selfish purpose; anything said for mere show. (Cant or Slang, U.S.) "All that flourish about right of search was bunkum all that brag about hanging your Canada sheriff was bunkum... slavery speeches are all bunkum."
To speak for Buncombe, to speak for mere show, or popularly. Note: "The phrase originated near the close of the debate on the famous 'Missouri Question,' in the 16th Congress. It was then used by Felix Walker a naïve old mountaineer, who resided at Waynesville, in Haywood, the most western country of North Carolina, near the border of the adjacent county of Buncombe, which formed part of his district. The old man rose to speak, while the house was impatiently calling for the 'Question,' and several members gathered round him, begging him to desist. He persevered, however, for a while, declaring that the people of his district expected it, and that he was bound to 'make a speech for Buncombe.'"






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Bunkum" Quotes from Famous Books



... romantic bunkum," laughed Auntie Gibbs. "You'll all go to bed tonight and get your rest! Uncle Nat will hide the fan so no one ...
— The Merriweather Girls and the Mystery of the Queen's Fan • Lizette M. Edholm

... "do you talk to me as if you'd begun English yesterday? You forget I've heard you translating bunkum ...
— The Prisoner • Alice Brown

... he said, "that this is just everything to me? Do you know it's beginning to seem to me just the only thing that matters? I'm quite aware that you think it all the most utter bunkum; but, you see, I know it's true. And the whole thing is just like heaven opening.... Look here ... I didn't tell you half the other day. The fact is, that I was just as much in love with this girl as—as a man could be. ...
— The Necromancers • Robert Hugh Benson

... "wasters." No one has any business to be hard up; "respectable" men live on what they've got. If any one were to ask him how people are to live within their means when they've not got any, he would reply with the word "bunkum" and clinch the argument with a grunt. It will be understood that conversation with Mr. Adolf ...
— War-time Silhouettes • Stephen Hudson

... it, eh? No, I do not. It's all bunkum; reporters' work and exaggeration. If you like that kind of stuff, it's weird and interesting. But it hurts property. The man was undoubtedly murdered. The tale hangs over the house. It's impossible to dispose ...
— The Blind Spot • Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint

... raging within himself. "She was humbugging me. Her tears, her air of frankness, her tender memories: all bunkum! She belongs to the same stock and the same gang as Marie Fauville and Gaston Sauverand. Like them, she is an accomplished liar and actress from her slightest gesture down to the least inflection of ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... no more, for some reason. But wot I would say is this here, 'ARRY's bin in this boat in his time, as in every prime lark pooty near, And when 'ARRISON talks blooming bunkum, with hadjectives spicy and strong, About Sport being stupid, and noisy, and vulgar; ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, August 30, 1890. • Various

... poisonous condition—a colouring of bright orange with thin reddish-brown streaks. The old fellow grumbled excessively when I told him to throw them overboard, and then somewhat annoyed me by saying that all the talk about them being unsafe was bunkum. He had, he said, caught and eaten just the same kind of fish at Vavau, in the Tonga Islands, time and time again. It was no use arguing with such a creature, so, after again warning him not to eat any fish of any kind unless the natives "passed" them as ...
— John Corwell, Sailor And Miner; and, Poisonous Fish - 1901 • Louis Becke

... Case. "It was the trouble about poor Adams. The last day, when he lay dying, there was young Buncombe round. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... than when some politician eager for votes or some evangelist itching for a good plate tells him that he is actually a soaring altruist, and the only real one in the world. This is the surest way to fetch him; he never fails to swell out his chest when he hears that buncombe. In point of fact, of course, he is no more an altruist than any other healthy mammal. His ideals, one and all, are grounded upon self-interest, or upon the fear that is at the bottom of it; his benevolence always has a string tied to it; he could no more formulate a course of action ...
— The American Credo - A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind • George Jean Nathan



Words linked to "Bunkum" :   rot, hogwash, bull, shit, guff, buncombe, bunk, crap, Irish bull, horseshit, garbage, drivel



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