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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



... better? Both and neither. I am, perhaps, not quite impartial, because I am sympathique to the Arabs and they to me, and I am inclined to be 'kind' to their virtues if not 'blind' to their faults, which are visible to the most inexperienced traveller. You see all our own familiar 'bunkum' (excuse the vulgarity) falls so flat on their ears, bravado about 'honour,' 'veracity,' etc., etc., they look blank and bored at. The schoolboy morality as set forth by Maurice is current here among grown men. Of course we tell lies to Pashas and Beys, why shouldn't we? ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... BUNKUM (from Buncombe county, North Carolina, United States), a term used for insincere political action or speaking to gain support or the favour of a constituency, and so any humbug or clap-trap. The phrase "to talk for (or to) Buncombe" arose in 1820, ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... it's all bunkum," said Acton, as they strolled back towards the house. "However, we'll come down as we said, and ...
— The Triple Alliance • Harold Avery

... the man-eater," said Olga, beginning to make subtle efforts to recover possession of her hand. "There hadn't been one so near for years, and Nick said he thought it was bunkum." ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... colleges, castles; of its present might as well as its ancient renown; and who have then come to live in Canada,—well, they naturally look with amused contempt at our raw, rough ways, our homespun legislators and log colleges, combined with lofty ambitions expressed sometimes—it must be admitted—in bunkum. I do not wonder, either, that men who have been citizens of the United States, who exult in its vast population, its vast wealth, and its boundless energy, should think it madness on our part that we are not knocking ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... everything is favorable to my bill. I hear of no opposition, but should not be surprised if it met with some. The great difficulty is to get it up before the House; there are so many who must 'define their position,' as the term is, so many who must say something to 'Bunkum,' that a great deal of the people's time is wasted in mere idle, unprofitable speechifying. I hope something may be done this week that shall be decisive, so that I may know what to do.... This waiting at so much risk makes me question myself: am I in the path of duty? When I think that ...
— Samuel F. B. Morse, His Letters and Journals - In Two Volumes, Volume II • Samuel F. B. Morse

... Bagehot is even more instructive when he is wrong than when he is right, because the wrong is sure to be almost right and the truth on its side neglected,—the letters are full of fresh, acute, and even profound ideas, sharp exposition of those primary objects of government which demagogues and buncombe legislators ignore, racy wit, sarcasm, and description (in one passage he rises for a moment into really blood-stirring rhetoric), and proofs of his capacity thus early for reducing the confused cross-currents of daily life to the operation of great embracing laws. No ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various



Words linked to "Bunkum" :   rot, bullshit, horseshit, bull, buncombe, bunk, dogshit, guff, hogwash, shit



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