Definition of phonus-bolonus in English:

phonus-bolonus

(also phonus bolognus)

noun

slangUS
  • Nonsense, exaggeration; insincerity; fraud, trickery.

Origin

1920s; earliest use found in Damon Runyon (1880–1946), journalist and short-story writer. Apparently a humorous alteration of phoney baloney (although this is first attested slightly later), with the ending of each element remodelled after Latin nouns ending in -us.

Pronunciation

phonus-bolonus

/ˌfəʊnəs bəˈləʊnəs/