King Bomba. A nickname given to Ferdinand II., King of Naples, in consequence of his cruel bombardment of Messina in 1848, in which the slaughter and destruction of property was most wanton. Bomba II. was the nickname given to his son Francis II. for bombarding Palermo in 1860. He was also called Bombalino (Little Bomba).
Another meaning equally applicable is Vox et praterea nihil, Bomba being the explosion made by puffing out the cheeks, and causing them suddenly to collapse. Liar, break-promise, worthless.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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