• fanfaronade •
fæn-fæ-rê-nayd • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: Verbal fanfare, a vain boasting, boisterously blustering.
Notes: Today's word contains the name of the person given to fanfaronades: fanfaron. The influence of fanfare on the history of this word is reflected in the fact that there were at least two instances of a word fanfarade in the sense of "fanfare" reported in the 19th century.
In Play: The great advantage of fanfaronade over blustering, boasting, and bragging is its suggestive connotation of fanfare: "He introduced his daughter with a fanfaronade that made her blush so much, that shy Anne Wyoming finally interrupted him." Let's not forget the personal noun fanfaron: "Emile is quite an enjoyable fellow, but he is a fanfaron par excellence."
Word History: English lifted today's Good Word whole from French fanfaronnade, trimming only the double N. But then French took its word from Spanish fanfarronada "bluster" with a similarly simple renovation. The Spanish word comes from fanfarrón "braggart". Spanish borrowed this word from the Arabic farfar "talkative, garrulous", by adding its own pejorative suffix -ón, while replacing the R with an N under the influence of fanfarria "fanfare". The Arabic word comes from the verb farfara "to become agitated or talkative". (We must now thank Jeremy Busch for recommending today's exceptionally Good Word in the Alpha Agora without so much as an inkling of fanfaronade.)
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