clap trap

claptrap

[klap-trap]
noun
1.
pretentious but insincere or empty language: His speeches seem erudite but analysis reveals them to be mere claptrap.
2.
any artifice or expedient for winning applause or impressing the public.

Origin:
1720–30; clap1 + trap1


1. sham, humbug, hokum, nonsense, bunk.
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World English Dictionary
claptrap (ˈklæpˌtræp)
 
n
1.  contrived but foolish talk
2.  insincere and pretentious talk: politicians' claptrap
 
[C18 (in the sense: something contrived to elicit applause): from clap1 + trap1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

claptrap
c.1730, "trick to 'catch' applause," a stage term; from clap (v.) + trap (n.). Extended sense of "cheap, showy language" is from 1819; hence "nonsense, rubbish."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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