humbug

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First in use about 1735-40. Etymology unknown. The Oxford English Dictionary states "The facts as to its origin appear to have been lost, even before the word became common enough to excite attention". Possibly from hummer ‎((slang) An obvious lie) or from hum ‎((dialectal and slang) to delude, impose on, cajole) + bug ‎(a specter, goblin). John Camden Hotten suggests a link to the name of the German city of Hamburg, "from which town so many false bulletins and reports came during the war in the last century".

Noun[edit]

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humbug ‎(plural humbugs)

  1. (slang) A hoax, prank or jest.
  2. (slang) A fraud or sham.
  3. (slang) Nonsense.
  4. (slang) A fraudster, cheat, or hypocrite.
  5. (US slang) Anything worrying, complicated, unpleasant, offensive, troublesome or a misunderstanding, especially if trivial.
  6. (US, African American Vernacular, slang) A fight.
  7. (US, African American Vernacular, slang, dated) A gang.
  8. (US, crime, slang) A false arrest on trumped-up charges.
  9. (Britain) A type of chewy sweet (candy).

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

humbug

  1. (slang) Nonsense!

Verb[edit]

humbug ‎(third-person singular simple present humbugs, present participle humbugging, simple past and past participle humbugged)

  1. (slang) To play a trick on someone, to cheat, to swindle, to deceive.
  2. (slang, obsolete) To waste time talking.
  3. (US, African American Vernacular, slang) To fight, to act tough.

Derived terms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

References[edit]


Hungarian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ˈhumbuɡ]
  • Hyphenation: hum‧bug

Noun[edit]

humbug ‎(plural humbugok)

  1. humbug

Interjection[edit]

humbug

  1. humbug!