Scrooge says 'Bah! Humbug!'? What is humbug?

‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. ‘Humbug! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money? For finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer?'


For Scrooge (and Scrooge McDuck!) Christmas is 'humbug' - a fraudulent commercial trick aimed at 'picking a man's pocket'. 

The alternative view, that Christmas is a 'good time - a kind, forgiving, charitable time' is provided by Scrooge's nephew, Fred.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

But what is humbug?

In general English 'humbug' describes insincere or hypocritical speech - Scrooge accuses all around him of only pretending to be interested in the plight of the poor.

 
In British English, a striped candy/sweet. It's boiled and hard enough to crack a tooth. Dentists cry, 'Bah! Humbug! - all the way to the bank. 

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