Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bunk n.2

also the bunk
[bunkum n.]

1. (orig. US) rubbish, nonsense, usu. of speech, occas. of inferior objects; also constr. with the; bunky adj., nonsensical.

[US]F.P. Dunne in Schaaf Mr Dooley’s Chicago (1977) 50: That is th’ real Irish village [...] I think th’ other one from Donegal is a sort of bunk, I do, an’ I niver liked Donegal.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 194: You kin buy Chinese souvenirs real cheap here [...] while all other places is bunks.
[US]H. Green Maison De Shine 133: He can’t do no imitations like me, an’ his act’s the bunk. [Ibid.] 225: Their act was a bunk.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Pitch-Out’ in Lucky Seventh (2004) 284: ‘That’s the bunk!’ said Curly earnestly.
[US]H. Ford Chicago Trib. 25 May 10/1: History is more or less bunk.
[US]E. Pound in Witemeyer Pound/Williams Correspondence (1996) 37: Not that I care a curse for ANY nation as such or that, so far as I know, I have ever suggested that I was trying to write U.S. poetry (any more than you are writing Alexandrine Greek bunk).
[US]N. Putnam West Broadway 33: ‘Don’t you think all this talk of the Soviet spreading over the world is more or less the bunk?’.
[US]Van Vechten Nigger Heaven 63: We’re more or less like the others when it comes to handing the bunk to the ofays.
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 321: He said that the Twin Cities was the bunk.
[UK]E. Glyn Flirt & Flapper 11: Flapper: But you thought about kisses [...] we know they’re the bunk.
[US] Gene Kardos and His Orchestra ‘Freddie the Freshman’ 🎵 Alpha! Delta! Skelta! Latin is the bunk!
[US]Eddie Cantor ‘Cheer Up! Smile! Nertz!’ 🎵 Sure, business is bunk, / And Wall Street is sunk.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 218: A lot of bunk has been written about con-men.
[US]R. Chandler Lady in the Lake (1952) 21: I know what that wire says, but it’s the bunk.
[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] You’re an ugly monk / Whiskey is the bunk.
[US]H. Simmons Corner Boy 197: You think it’s [i.e. prison] glamorous like the movies? Don’t believe that bunk, it’s hell.
[US]T. Berger Reinhart in Love (1963) 35: The truth [...] is that things are exactly as they appear, and symbols are the bunk.
[UK]R.L. Pike Mute Witness (1997) 34: That’s a lot of bunk and you know it, he added to himself.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 219: ‘I wasn’t going to do you.’ This was a different voice. ‘Bunk.’.
[Aus]Hackworth & Sherman About Face (1991) 214: George Catlett Marshall had tasked himself with ridding Benning of the ‘bunk, complications and ponderosities.’.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 154: This background check shit is the bunk.
[Ire]J.B. Keane Love Bites and Other Stories 104: You’ll hear people saying that fortune-telling is bunk.
[US]Mad mag. July 37: That whole thing about stuff staying in Vegas is bunk.

2. a fraudulent scheme, a confidence trick.

[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 79: ‘If I don't stand fer as purty a bit o’ de bunk as ever was framed up I hope de coppers ’ll close de joint’.
[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 37: The American public love to be humbugged, [...] They like the bunk, an’ they always will take to it like a kid to a candy stand.
[US]W. Irwin Confessions of a Con Man 117: He looked over the shell games, the cloth and the roll-out, and pronounced them a bunk.
[US]Sun (NY) 27 July 40/1: ‘It’s tough for the boys, but the pay-ff is good nearly any time.’ ‘The pay-off [...] I don’t get you, Jimmy. A new kind of bunk?’.

3. a foolish or otherwise unsatisfactory person.

[UK]A. Binstead Mop Fair 31: A suspicious woman who has lost her temper is the prize bunk of the universe.
[US]Van Loan ‘For the Pictures’ in Taking the Count 339: He oughta known that fellow Isaacs was the bunk.
[US]A. Swartz ‘Sweet, Tight and Hella Stupid’ in S.F. University High School Update Mar.–Apr. 2: bunk – a [...] person that another finds objectionable.

4. (US tramp) good manners.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 441: Bunk, Politeness.

5. as counterfeit drink or drugs.

(a) (US Und.) synthetic liquor.

[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

(b) (drugs) fake cocaine or heroin.

[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 13: bunk Ersatz dope [...] ‘It ain’t the caine, man, it bunk! Mother fucking bunk!’.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 252: I told him if it [i.e. heroin] was bunk why in Mary’s name did he shoot it all.

(c) (US drugs) fake phencyclidine.

[US]J. Stahl Pain Killers 172: Them fools in there was soaking lint in dry-cleaning fluid and callin’ it PCP [...] lemme tell you, mang, sherm was fuckin’ pasteurized milk compared to this bunk.

In compounds

bunk artist (n.) [-artist sfx]

(US) a talker of nonsense; a hyperbolist.

[US]McClure’s Mag. 32 98/1: Better bust away from that Domino bunk artist, an’ square yourself to home.
[US]Tacoma Times (WA) 14 Sept. 1/3: He is a blatant, arrogant, puffed-up bunk artist.
S.G. Blythe Fakers 42: If there is any kind of a bunk artist, faker, charlatan, demagogue, or other professional friend of the people I haven’t run across in my time it is some new sort just invented.
[US]Amer. Mag. 108 129/1: He wanted to know whether the ‘bunk artist’ ever can be a really good salesman.
D.A. Hubsch Jesus Complex 95: Preacher [...] was such a good bunk artist that father believed in his sincerity.
[US]Time 37 14: Don’t let any bunk artist come along and tell you Wendell Willkie or Wendell Willkie’s views are any different.
[US]‘John Eagle’ Hoodlums (2021) 45: Martin was a bunk-artist from the word go, he thought.
G. Caron Roguish World of Dr Brinkley 208: [He] had called the Del Rio medico ‘the world's greatest bunk artist’.
bunkhead (n.)

a fool, an incompetent.

[US]Day Book (Chicago) 22 Mar. 19/2: Have they got an intelligent operator at the other end of the wire or a bunkhead?
bunkshooter (n.) [shoot v. (1a)]

(US) a preacher.

[US]C. Sandburg ‘To a Contemporary Bunkshooter’ Chicago Poems (1994) 28: You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching about hell-fire.
[US]U. Sinclair They Call Me Carpenter 113: Gimme a chance at those bunk-shooters – I’ll shut ’em up.

In phrases

go to bunk (v.)

(Aus.) to fail, to collapse.

[Aus]E. Dyson ‘At a Boxing Bout’ in Benno and Some of the Push 116: ‘O’Brien ’ll out ‘im this round [...Scorcher’ll go t’bunk, you take it frim the prefessor.’.
put the bunk (v.)

to talk nonsense.

[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 25 July [synd. col.] A shirt shop with a sign: ‘We receive patrons only by appointment.’ That’s putting the sixteen pound bunk.