Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

falutin'

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

falutin'

Postby passionandparadox » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:40 pm

It seems like everyone knows what it means; it even shows up in Samuel Moore's English English translation of The Communist Manifesto:

"[...] in ordinary life, despite their high falutin' phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truth, love, and honor, for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits."

But the etymology is elusive... maybe I just don't see the obvious origin?
passionandparadox
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: Troy, New York

Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:01 pm

I've never seen falutin used on its own. Is it possible that something is low falutin, for example? :)

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby passionandparadox » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:11 pm

Actually, yeah! I found a few people using "low-falutin", and even "medium-falutin". It does appear by itself, very rarely, and seems to retain the connotation of "high-falutin".
passionandparadox
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: Troy, New York

Postby tcward » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:13 pm

It's always missing the 'g' on the end, as well...

Here's what Etymonline.com has to say about it:

high-falutin'
1848, U.S. slang, possibly from high-flying, or flown, or even flute.


-Tim
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:19 pm

I didn't know there was a g there. That would mean that there is the verb falute. Does such a verb exist? :shock: This forum never ceases to amaze me.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby passionandparadox » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:33 pm

I just checked etymonline earlier and didn't see any results, I must have mistyped something... Thanks Tim!

It looks like "falute" is used rarely... what's interesting is the context: "falute too highly", "falute about myself", "...polite to falute in the first place", "something to falute towards". They seem to use both possible origins ("flying" and "fluting").
passionandparadox
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: Troy, New York

Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:35 pm

That's some beautiful information. Thanks for coming out and sharing with us.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Botucatu - SP Brazil

Postby Stargzer » Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:05 am

A Baltimore native son strikes again:

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

highfalutin

SYLLABICATION: high·fa·lu·tin
PRONUNCIATION: hī ' fə-lōōt ' n
VARIANT FORMS: or hi·fa·lu·tin also high·fa·lu·ting (-lōōt'n, -lōōt'ĭng)
ADJECTIVE: Informal Pompous or pretentious: “highfalutin reasons for denying direct federal assistance to the unemployed” (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.).
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown.
REGIONAL NOTE: H.L. Mencken, in his famous book The American Language, mentions highfalutin as an example of the many native U.S. words coined during the 19th-century period of vigorous growth. Although highfalutin is characteristic of American folk speech, it is not a true regionalism because it has always occurred in all regions of the country, with its use and popularity spurred by its appearance in print. The origin of highfalutin, like that of many folk expressions, is obscure. It has been suggested that the second element, –falutin, comes from the verb flute—hence high-fluting, a comical indictment of people who think too highly of themselves.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD

Postby gailr » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:49 pm

Intrigued by the possibilities of low falutin' I found this: The Falutin' Index
-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby passionandparadox » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:55 pm

Amazing. My friend tells me she heard another etymology once, but can't remember. "Flying" and "flute" still sound questionable to me, but it's better than nothing. There's more weirdness here than I was expecting to stumble across...
passionandparadox
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: Troy, New York


Return to Good Word Suggestions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests