"overact, act insincerely," 1935, theatrical slang, probably back-formed from hokum. Often with up (adv.).
1917, theater slang, "melodramatic, exaggerated acting," probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (n.2)), and perhaps also influenced by or based on hocus-pocus.
1927, from hoke + -y (2). Related: Hokiness.
updated on August 02, 2015