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Updated by Day Translations on Mar 17, 2013
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Nonesense in Other Words

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

1

Nonsense

Nonsense

Words or signs having no intelligible meaning.

2

Folderol

Folderol

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

3

Gobbledygook

Gobbledygook

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.

4

Applesauce

Applesauce

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.

5

Bunkum

Bunkum

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.

6

Mojibake

Mojibake

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.

7

Bosh

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.”

8

Codswallop

Codswallop

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.

9

Horse feathers

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.