Tag Archives: synonyms for nonsense

There’s A Word for That: Blatherskite

alex atkins bookshelf wordsEver listened to a person talk at great length, and as you nod while listening politely, you realize none of what they say makes sense or is meaningless? Well, there a word for that kind of person: blatherskite. Pronounced “bla THUR skite” the word is a portmanteau of the English word blather, derived from the Old Norse blathr meaning “talking nonsense” and the Scottish word skite meaning “a contemptible person.” The word was popularized by the traditional Scottish song “Maggie Lauder” which was frequently sung by the soldiers in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. “Maggie Lauder,” a song about a piper, was written by Frances Sempill (1616-1685) and first published in 1729 in Adam Craig’s Collection of the Choicest Scots Tunes. Here are the first verses of the song (note that blatherskite was initially spelled “bladderskate”):

Wha wadna be in love
Wi’ bonnie Maggie Lauder?
A piper met her gaun to Fife,
And speir’d what was’t they ca’d her;-
Eight scornfully she answer’d him,
Begone you hallanshaker!
Jog on your gate, you bladderskate,
My name is Maggie Lauder.

The secondary meaning of blatherskite is foolish talk or nonsense. If you have watched a news clip of a Trump rally, you will instantly recognize blatherskite from um… a blithering blatherskite. There are many colorful synonyms for blatherskite, including the wonderful whimsical word “jabberwocky” introduced by Lewis Carroll in his classic work Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) published in 1871. Other euphonious synonyms include: babble, balderdash, claptrap, gabble, gibberish, gobbledygook, jabber, nonsense, poppycock, prate, prattle, and twaddle.

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For further reading: https://tunearch.org/wiki/Annotation:Maggy_Lawder


Synonyms for Bullshit

atkins bookshelf wordsIf Americans have learned anything from this last excruciatingly nasty presidential campaign, it is that politicians are experts at spinning, pontificating, speechifying, fancy talk, or whatever they want to call it. But let’s face it, folks, no matter how you sugarcoat it — it’s still bullshit. Of course, in polite society we use the more genteel term “nonsense.” An even better word is jabberwocky, coined by Lewis Carroll in his novel Through the Looking Glass (1871), the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s certainly appropriate. Given the surreal results of the recent presidential election, Americans have fallen down the rabbit hole, and are left scratching their heads, wondering: “how the freak did we get here?” And it seems the only ones interested in answering that question are the very same trumpery-spewing politicians who got us there. The Madhatter might explain it this way: “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter. Let’s face the facts: we are living in the post-Factual world, the Age of Bullshit. No sense in hiding down here because we’re all f——!” Well, if we are going to be slogging through all this political bullshit, we might as well learn about bullshit (or as Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President Trump, called it “alternative facts”) in its many colorful variations. Without any further circumlocution, here is a list of synonyms for bullshit (no bullshit!):

ackamarackus
applesauce

babble
baboonery
balderdash
ballyhoo
baloney
bambosh
bilge
blague
blah blah blah

blarney
bletherskate
baloney
bollucks
brimborion
bugaboo
bull
bullshit
buncombe
bunk
bushwa
cack
claptrap
clatfart
codswallop
crap
crock of shit
drivel
effutiation
eyewash
fadoodle
falderal
fandangle
fiddlededee
fiddle-faddle
flam
flannel
flapdoodle
flimflam
flummadiddle
flummery
fribble
fustian
galbanum
galimatias
gammon
garbage
gibberish
grimgribber
guff

haver
hibber-gibber
hogwash
hooey
horse feathers
horseshit
hot air
humbug
jabberwock
jiggery-pokery
kelter
kidology
linsey-woolsey
macaroni
malarkey
morology
mullock
mumbo-jumbo
narrischkeit
nugament
phonus-bolonus
piddle
piggish
pish-posh

poppycock
posh
prattle
quatsch
rannygazoo
razzmatazz
razzle-dazzle

rhubarb
riddle-me-ree
rottack
schmegeggy
shuck
skittles
slipslop
spinach
squit
stultiloquence
talking through one’s hat

taradiddle
tarradiddle
tootle
tosh
trumpery
twaddle

Read related posts: Synonyms for Said
What is the Most Beautiful-Sounding Word in English
There’s A Word for That: Trumpery
Most Mispronounced Words in English
What Do You Call Words Like Wishy-Washy or Mumbo-Jumbo

How Many Words in the English Language?
How Many Words Does the Average Person Speak in a Lifetime?
The Most Mispronounced Words
Common Latin Abbreviations
Words Invented by Dickens

For further reading: The Dictionary of Bullshit by Nick Webb (2006)
Bullshit: A Lexicon by Mark Peters (2015)
https://www.powerthesaurus.org/nonsense
http://phrontistery.info/nonsense.html
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/23/511160267/delusions-or-deceptions-white-house-alternative-facts-rile-press

 


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