- \ \  Buncombe is a county of North Carolina, USA. Around 1820, during a debate in the US Congress, its representative Felix Walker rose to make a speech. He spoke on – and on – and on. Fellow congressmen pleaded with him to sit down, but he refused to be deflected, declaring that he had to make a speech ‘for Buncombe’. Most of what he said was fatuous and irrelevant, and henceforth bunkum (or buncombe, as it was at first spelled) became a term for political windbagging intended to ingratiate the speaker with the voters rather than address the real issues. It early passed into the more general sense ‘nonsense, claptrap’.\ \ Its abbreviated form, bunk, is 20th-century; it was popularized by Henry Ford’s remark ‘History is more or less bunk’, made in 1916. Of the other English words bunk, ‘bed’  is probably short for bunker, which first appeared in 16th-century Scottish English, meaning ‘chest, box’; while bunk as in do a bunk and bunk off  is of unknown origin.
Word origins - 2ed. J. Ayto. 2005.