Trend Watch

Clinton: 'It's Been Debunked Numerous Times'

Lookups for 'debunk' spiked during the debate

Debunk spiked in lookups during the presidential debate after it was used by Hillary Clinton:

Well, first of all, what he just said about the state department is not only untrue, it's been debunked numerous times. But I think it's really an important issue, he raised the thirty years of experience.

Debunk means “to expose the sham or falseness of,” and comes from bunk, meaning “nonsense,” which is short for bunkum, which, appropriately enough, is a word that entered English from American politics. A congressman from Buncombe County, North Carolina in the 1820s gained a reputation for irrelevant and inappropriate statements from the floor of the House. The term buncombe became bunkum and then bunk by 1900. Debunk was in use by the 1920s.

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