I went to my usual Webster's Dictionary when I heard the month's first mention of the word humbug. No comment on whether I was talking to myself.
Webster's defines humbug as: "1. a) something made or done to cheat or deceive; fraud; sham; hoax b) misleading, dishonest or empty talk 2. a dishonest person; a person who does not live up to his claims; an impostor 3. a spirit of trickery, deception."
Well, those are all valuable words, worth defending (and using) this year. But on the way to finding those definitions, I found a fresher (if naughtier-sounding) word, humbugger. That's "one who humbugs," says Webster's.
But something was still missing. I remembered a TV movie in which a character offered another one "a humbug." I knew it was a British movie, so I checked en.oxforddictionaries.com. There it was: "A boiled sweet, especially one flavoured (sic) with peppermint."
A sample sentence suggests that humbugs of the peppermint variety developed from cold cures. Considering how successful many such "cures" are, maybe that led to the cheating, dishonest, hoax definitions.
What's that? You don't agree? Bah... .