All Words > Bunburying

illustration Bunburying



Part of speech: verb

Origin: British English, 19th century


(Humorous) Avoiding one's duties and responsibilities by claiming to have appointments to see a fictitious person.

Examples of Bunburying in a sentence

"My boss had a habit of Bunburying out of his obligation to meet the CEO each time she visited our office."

"As a student, I tried Bunburying my way out of an exam, but my teacher didn’t believe me."

About Bunburying

“Bunburying” is a verb based on the character of Bunbury in Oscar Wilde’s 1895 play “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Did you Know?

English author Oscar Wilde coined the term “Bunburying” in his play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” as a verb that evoked a character named Bunbury. Though Bunbury is discussed in the play, he never appears onstage — Bunbury is a fictitious character whom another character references to create excuses that get him out of situations he wishes to leave. As a humorous verb, “Bunburying” means inventing a made-up appointment with a fictitious person in order to avoid one’s responsibilities.

illustration Bunburying

Recent Words

What's the word?