Pronounced: JIN-er-kee (alt 1: GIE-ner-kee; alt 2: JIE-ner-kee), noun

Notes: You may be able to get this one

Yesterday’s word

The word debunk means (as you probably know) “to expose the falseness of a claim, myth, belief, etc”

First usage

This word came into usage in the 1920s

Background / Comments

The background is why our word was made my vocabulary posting. The prefix de- means “removal”, as in “declaw”. The word bunk means “humbug; nonsense”, thus, the root idea is “removing the nonsense”. James Randi was a famous debunker of paranormal and pseudo-scientific claims (although he disliked the term debunker). The word bunk is a shortened form of bunkum (which has the same reading). The word bunkum is also a shortening, or perhaps corruption of Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. In 1820, US Representative Felix Walker made a pointless speech in the US House. When he was urged to stop and get on with voting, he said that he had to make a speech “for Buncombe”, and thus the word came to mean meaningless speech. I find this background interesting.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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