“Bunk” is empty or nonsense talk.
In 1820, Rep. Felix Walker from Ashville, North Carolina justified his long-winded and somewhat irrelevant remarks about the Missouri Compromise by arguing that his constituents had elected him “to make a speech for Buncombe.”
One member said that his pointless speech “was buncombe” and soon “buncombe” became synonymous with vacuous speech.
As the new meaning of buncombe grew in use, it was eventually shortened to the now familiar word “bunk.”
Bunk often involves empty promises, vague platitudes, or outright falsehoods, aiming to create an illusion of competence or persuasiveness without addressing the complexities or nuances of the issues at hand.
Unlike a speech filled with smoke and mirrors, a speech with bunk tends to be mostly unintentional.
Use of “Bunk” in a sentence
- The politician’s speech was filled with empty promises and vague platitudes, ultimately amounting to nothing more than bunk designed to appease the audience without offering any substantive solutions or plans.
- During the debate, the candidate resorted to spouting bunk, using misleading statistics and exaggerated claims to distort the reality of the situation and gain an advantage over their opponent.
- The public grew weary of the constant stream of bunk coming from politicians, yearning for genuine discourse and meaningful policy discussions rather than empty rhetoric and political posturing.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.