• bodacious •
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: (US slang) 1. Unrestrained, outspoken, brazen, bold and audacious. 2. Exceptional, excellent, or outlandishly striking.
Notes: Although we are still listing this word as slang, it is slowly but surely making its way into mainstream US English. It has been used as an adverb, bodaciously, and the noun, bodaciousness, is already all over the Web.
In Play: All who are remarkable in what they do qualify for today's adjective: "That bodacious gossip, Minnie Pearl, is telling everyone in town that I'm a transvestite just because I wore my kilt in the Memorial Day parade!" (Good thing you didn't play your bagpipes or she might spread the rumor that you strangle cats, too.) We humans are not the only things in the world that can be bodacious: "Merlin came to the garden party in the most bodacious necktie I have ever seen."
Word History: Today's Good Word means "bold and audacious" because it is a blend of bold + audacious. It is common in many English dialects for L to drop out or become U before the consonants P, B, T, D, K, G. Words like help and milk are pronounced [heup] and [miuk] where this occurs. After O, the U would not be heard, leading to the current spelling: bodacious. This word was particularly popular in the US South even before it was popularized in the comic strip about the southern mountain man, Snuffy Smith. Today you will hear it from coast to coast in the US though rarely elsewhere in the English-speaking world. (Today we thank Jerry Kersten for being so bodacious as to suggest this peculiar Good Word for our series.)
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