Definition of bunkum in English:


(also buncombe)


informal, dated
  • [mass noun] Nonsense.

    ‘they talk a lot of bunkum about their products’
    • ‘The propaganda machine is in reverse and if the BADM had its way the public would never find out that all the hoopla over Mononykus was just a lot of buncombe about a weird dinosaur.’
    • ‘Perhaps more relevantly, he is also widely credited as being the first ‘spin-doctor’, a claim or accusation he robustly rebuts in this book as ‘all bunkum and balderdash’.’
    • ‘Where are all those ‘free-trade’ ideologues now that their theories have turned out to be bunkum, devastating American working families?’
    • ‘There is a good article here on what a lot of bunkum psychological ‘counselling’ often is.’
    • ‘It is all part of the patronising, diplomatic bunkum accorded that curious species known as the caretaker who, if truth be told, is doing no more than buying the club time as they endeavour to find someone better.’
    • ‘It's so tightly plotted, full of action, has a wonderful black/white morality to it, and best of all, none of the cast notice that it's total bunkum.’
    • ‘In fact, it shows that all the half-hints at challenges and hard choices and pain heard from leading SF representatives over the weekend was bunkum.’
    • ‘In Australia this question is dismissed as leftist bunkum, but in Europe, where the atmosphere is generally not as politically charged, it's just obvious.’
    • ‘But for the most part our endless classifying, grouping, and arranging is nothing but high-grade hokum, mixed with a lot of bunkum.’
    • ‘It is entirely possible to drink any wine with any dish, and anyone who says otherwise is talking bunkum; a respected gastro-bore friend of mine likes to drink white burgundy with stewed lamb, as he finds it brings out the texture of the meat.’
    • ‘Let me be blunt: the idea that ‘Invasion’ is a Cold War allegory is bunkum.’
    • ‘Anyone with common sense knows it's all complete bunkum.’
    • ‘But an unusually wonderful and totally involving display at Tate Modern makes almightily clear that this view is bunkum.’
    • ‘It's a sad commentary that so many journalists mouthed such bunkum with straight faces - and that Americans didn't quickly laugh this grandiloquence out of the court of public opinion.’
    • ‘After the invasion, she took the minister's word at face value, when a 30-second search on the internet could have told her it was bunkum.’
    • ‘Cumulatively, however, the proliferation of obscurantist bunkum and the reaction against reason are a menace to civilisation.’
    • ‘Looking around, I saw several parents who seemed as uneasy as we did with this left-wing bunkum.’
    • ‘Anyone who says that standards are falling is talking bunkum.’
    • ‘Most Australians believe this is bunkum, pure and simple, because they'd already lost confidence in the integrity of the system.’
    • ‘Bad laws are there to be broken and no one with a smidgen of self respect and national pride should apologise to anyone for taking a stand against such bunkum.’
    rubbish, balderdash, gibberish, claptrap, blarney, guff, blather, blether
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Mid 19th century (originally buncombe): named after Buncombe County in North Carolina, mentioned in an inconsequential speech made by its congressman solely to please his constituents ( c. 1820).