To speak for Buncombe
Buncombe Bun"combe, Bunkum Bun"kum, n. [Buncombe a county of North Carolina.] 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.] [1913 Webster]

All that flourish about right of search was bunkum -- all that brag about hanging your Canada sheriff was bunkum . . . slavery speeches are all bunkum. --Haliburton. [1913 Webster]

{To speak for Buncombe}, to speak for mere show, or popularly. [1913 Webster]

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 na["i]ve 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 preserved, however, for a while, declaring that the people of his district expected it, and that he was bound to `make a speech for Buncombe.''' --W. Darlington. [1913 Webster] ||


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Buncombe — Bun combe, Bunkum Bun kum, n. [Buncombe a county of North Carolina.] 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.] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Bunkum — Buncombe Bun combe, Bunkum Bun kum, n. [Buncombe a county of North Carolina.] 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bunkum — /bung keuhm/, n. 1. insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents. 2. insincere talk; claptrap; humbug. Also, buncombe. [Amer.; after speech in 16th Congress, 1819 21, by F. Walker, who said he was bound to… …   Universalium

  • bunkum — bun•kum or buncombe [[t]ˈbʌŋ kəm[/t]] n. 1) gov insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents 2) insincere talk; claptrap; humbug • Etymology: after speech in 16th Congress, 1819–21, by F. Walker, who said he …   From formal English to slang

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