Sunday, November 7, 2010

The bunk

A reader notes this word-origin post at Throw Grammar from the Train, Buncombe, bunkum, or both? Jan Freeman says John Russell Bartlett had included the word in his 1848 Dictionary of Americanisms, Bartlett's source saying,
A tedious speaker in Congress being interrupted and told it was no use to go on, for the members were all leaving the house, replied, "Never mind; I'm talking to Buncombe." Buncombe, in North Carolina, was the place he represented.
The verbal equivalent of earmarks?

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