bunkum was our Word of the Day on 07/05/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of bunkum in a Sentence
What a load of bunkum!
a cinematic depiction of the Middle Ages that was derided as pure bunkum by historians
Recent Examples of bunkum from the Web
For sixteen seasons, John Elway let all the bunkum bounce off his big shoulders.
Or maybe the name was inspired by someone muttering something about a load of bunkum.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bunkum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Some words in our language have more colorful histories than others, but in the case of bunkum, you could almost say it was an act of Congress that brought the word into being. Back in 1820 Felix Walker, who represented Buncombe County, North Carolina, in the U.S. House of Representatives, was determined that his voice be heard on his constituents' behalf, even though the matter up for debate was irrelevant to Walker's district and he had little to contribute. To the exasperation of his colleagues, Walker insisted on delivering a long and wearisome "speech for Buncombe." His persistent-if insignificant-harangue made buncombe (later respelled bunkum) a synonym for meaningless political claptrap and later for any kind of nonsense.
Origin and Etymology of bunkum
First Known Use: 1838See Words from the same year
Synonymsapplesauce [slang], balderdash, baloney (also boloney), beans, bilge, blah (also blah-blah), blarney, blather, blatherskite, blither, bosh, bull [slang], bunk, nonsense (or buncombe), claptrap, codswallop [British], crapola [slang], crock, drivel, drool, fiddle, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flannel [British], flapdoodle, folderol (also falderal), folly, foolishness, fudge, garbage, guff, hogwash, hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, horsefeathers [slang], humbug, humbuggery, jazz, malarkey (also malarky), moonshine, muck, nerts [slang], nuts, piffle, poppycock, punk, rot, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, slush, stupidity, taradiddle (or tarradiddle), tommyrot, tosh, trash, trumpery, twaddle
Related Wordsabsurdity, asininity, fatuity, foolery, idiocy, imbecility, inaneness, inanity, insanity, kookiness, lunacy; absurdness, craziness, madness, senselessness, witlessness; hoity-toity, monkey business, monkeyshine (s), shenanigan (s), tomfoolery; gas, hot air, rigmarole (also rigamarole); double-talk, greek, hocus-pocus
Near Antonymslevelheadedness, rationality, reasonability, reasonableness, sensibleness; common sense, horse sense, sense; discernment, judgment (or judgement), wisdom
BUNKUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bunkum for English Language Learners
: foolish or untrue words or ideas
Seen and Heard
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