SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: The PLANdemic is hokum, doofus.


Here’s the best current definition of the word “hokum.”

It’s so obvious that even the namesake of this column understands it. The etymology is somewhat mysterious, not unlike the reasoning of pandemic conspiracy nutjobs.

hokum (n.)
1917, theater slang, “melodramatic, exaggerated acting,” probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (n.2)), and perhaps also influenced by or based on hocus-pocus.

And, a standard definition:

hokum [ hoh-kuh m ]


out-and-out nonsense; bunkum.

elements of low comedy introduced into a play, novel, etc., for the laughs they may bring.

sentimental matter of an elementary or stereotyped kind introduced into a play or the like.

false or irrelevant material introduced into a speech, essay, etc., in order to arouse interest, excitement, or amusement.