humbug (n.)

1751, student slang, "trick, jest, hoax, imposition, deception," of unknown origin. Also appearing as a verb at the same time, "deceive by false pretext" (trans.). A vogue word of the early 1750s; its origin was a subject of much whimsical speculation even then. "[A]s with other and more recent words of similar introduction, the facts as to its origin appear to have been lost, even before the word became common enough to excite attention" [OED]. Meaning "spirit of deception or imposition; hollowness, sham" is from 1825.

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Definitions of humbug from WordNet
humbug (n.)
pretentious or silly talk or writing;
Synonyms: baloney / boloney / bilgewater / bosh / drool / taradiddle / tarradiddle / tommyrot / tosh / twaddle
humbug (n.)
communication (written or spoken) intended to deceive;
Synonyms: snake oil
humbug (n.)
something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage;
Synonyms: fraud / fraudulence / dupery / hoax / put-on
humbug (v.)
trick or deceive;