Hokum

Hokum

ˈhōkəm

Noun

  • Nonsense.
  • Trite, sentimental, or unrealistic situations and dialogue in a movie, play, or piece of writing.

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Example Sentences

“His song lyrics were silly hokum, but they always made the audience laugh.”

“My favorite movie might be full of hokum, but it always makes me feel better when I’m under the weather.”

“No need to apologize for hokum if you’re enjoying it!”

Word Origin

American English, early 20th century

Why this word?

We can look to the vaudeville stage for the origin of this slang word, which means “nonsense,” or, in its original usage, “an especially trite or unrealistic bit of dialogue in a play or movie.” “Hokum” is likely based on the spelling of “bunkum,” an earlier slang word that also means “nonsense,” but etymologists trace it to “hocus-pocus,” as well.

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