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A Better Word for Malarkey

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A young woman from Portland, Oregon, seeks a noun to denote something fake or otherwise dubious. She doesn’t want an obvious swear word, but also doesn’t like the ones she found in the thesaurus. She thinks malarkey, poppycock, and flim-flam sound too old-fashioned and unnatural for a twenty-something to say. Fraud, fake, hoax, janky, don’t sound quite right for her either. The hosts suggest chicanery, sham, rubbish, bogus, or crap. This is part of a complete episode.

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  • I would suggest the work “bunk” (which is a shortened form of “bunkum”). To me, “bunk” sounds about 60-70 years old, while “bunkum” has the ring of 19th century language usage.

  • A quick follow-up to my recently posted response: a quick check with a standard thesaurus reveals these delicious mouthfuls: “balderdash”, “blather”, “codswallop”, “fiddle-faddle”, “hogwash”, “hokum”, “horsefeathers”, “humbug”, or “piffle”.

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Offensive and Taboo Language