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April 9, 2022

Bupkis /bo͝opkis / adj.   

Definition: Bupkis originated as a slang term North Americans use to describe nonsense. A Bupkis is a person who knows nothing. 

The term became popular in North American television programming when television writers and producers featured it in an episode of the famous American television sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, in the 1960s.

Etymology: Etymologists say the word “bupkis was originally a form of North American Jewish slang used to depict an unintelligent person. English speakers derived the word bupkis from the Yiddish word ‘bobkes.’ English speakers started using the word in the early 20th century. They used the word “bupkis” as the title for an episode of the 1960s favorite, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Since that time, the word has become a humorous way to describe something or someone of “no worth.”

In a Sentence

The television show host knew bupkis about how to increase audience engagement.

She knew bupkis about fixing cars, so she took her car to a mechanic for repair.

Bupkis is usually what you end up with when you expect to get something for nothing.


Nothing, Zero


Everything, Whole ball of wax


  1. Sally

    I thought the word was buffkis

  2. Colleen

    Every time I buy a lottery ticket, I get “Bupkis! And I remember the Dick Van Dyke show. Loved it.

  3. John Payne

    Is there a connection with “bumpkin” as in the perjoriative phrase” a country bumpkin?

  4. John V Payne

    Is there a connection with bupkis and the derogative term “country bumpkin”?

  5. Stephen Goll

    Bupkis was used in the DICK VAN DYKE show.

    • Stephen Goll

      ADD: It was used many times.


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