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Nonsense in Other Words is also Nonsense

Nonsense in Other Words is also Nonsense
on January, 25 2013

Here's a cheeky, albeit an intelligent way to mean that things are sometimes nonsensical or nonsense.

It is always useful to have a wide lexicon, as it helps at times when you become at a loss for word. Although not everyone has the ability to remember thousands of words, at the back of their minds could be some words they have encountered before but seldom use. Today, take a look at some words, that all mean one thing – nonsense. These are words that you can use to either stop a friend from uttering more folderol or astound them when you say what they are doing is just a bunch of codswallop.

Nonsense in Other Words


Folderol means petty nonsense, as well as nonsensical action or talk. It comes from fol-de-rol, a song refrain that made no sense.


It is said to have been coined in 1944 by Texas congressman Maury Maverick. It was part of his critical comments on the vague and confusing language the other committee members of the US Congress Smaller War Plants Committee for which he was the chairperson were saying. He compared them to a turkey that was always going “gobble, gobble” and strutting around vainly.


It could mean nonsense, sweet talk or flattery. It originated from the common practice at boarding houses a long time ago to serve plenty of applesauce to camouflage the lack of more nourishing food.


The word “bumkum” rose from American politics in the 1820s. There was a North Carolina Representative named Felix Walker that delivered quite a long and dull speech that did not particularly help the matter that was being discussed. The representative’s defense was that he was speaking specifically for his constituents in his county called Buncome. The name became popular and given that particular spelling soon after, to refer to foolish or insincere talks.


It sounds Japanese and it actually is. This one is more technically related, coming from the Japanese words “moji” for character and “bake” for transform. This occurs when a software displays unreadable text. That’s when you see lots of question marks, upper and lower case letters in succession as well as other characters and symbols.


Bosh is an emphatic word for nonsense! It is also defined as a foolish activity or ridiculous or anserine talk. The word is derived from the Turkish word, “boş,” which translates to something “useless” and “empty.”


The word means drivel. It also means a language or collection of words that express no intelligent ideas or meaning. Codswallop was believed to have been coined by the British in the 20th century as a derogatory label for the products of a person named Hiram Codd. He used to manufacture soft drinks in the 19th century. However, the actual origin of codswallop is unknown.

Horse feathers

It is exclusively used in the United States and was used in a 1932 Marx Brothers film of the same name. Meaning nonsense or rubbish, it is a genteel way of saying horse poop. It’s a word coined in the 1920s by William Morgan (Billy) de Beck, a writer and comic-strip artist.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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