High-falutin'

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Dr. Goodword
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High-falutin'

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Jan 29, 2022 7:22 pm

• high-falutin' •


Pronunciation: hai-fê-lut-ên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: (Regional slang) 1. Highly pompous, bombastic (speech). 2. Showing off, ostentatious, pretending to be above one's station in life, putting on airs.

Notes: The amazing thing about high-falutin' it is that is not a high-falutin' word itself for it is usually pronounced with a colloquial twang. However, it has survived long enough to be treated as a legitimate word that may be pronounced standardly, high-faluting, if it makes you feel better. It may be used as an adverb with or without any doctoring: "Benny can talk as high-falutin' as any of them.

In Play: This word is not only slang but slang used predominately in the southern US states: "Lana Georgia thinks that using high-falutin' words will convince people that she is a high-class lady." Although most commonly associated with speech, today's Good Word is at home in many other contexts: "Cindy Mae Lovett hasn't talked to any of her old friends since she started waitressing in that high-falutin' restaurant on Nob Hill."

Word History: Today's Good Word is ostensibly made up of the adjective high + the participle of the verb falute. The problem with this explanation is that there is no verb falute "put on airs". We see this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle: "Aly Katz falutes like a millionaire philosophy professor when she goes out with men." It probably started out as a blend of "fly" and "salute", but that is pure speculation at this point. These two words have no obvious relation to each other or falutin'. (Now let's thank Kyle McDonald of RPI for suggesting today's low-falutin' Good Word.)
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misterdoe
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby misterdoe » Mon Jan 31, 2022 5:49 pm

New York born-and-bred, and I love this word! :)

Philip Hudson
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:25 pm

I was born in the hinterlands of the Texas brush country. I had to learn that "high-falutin' " wasn't standard English when I got my first pair of shoes and went to the big city.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.

Eileen Opiolka
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby Eileen Opiolka » Thu Aug 11, 2022 3:07 am

Thank you, Slava, for your intersting reply, and all your interesting contributions over the years.
As for high-falutin', I like the possible etymology suggested by the OED:
ORIGIN Perh. from high adjective + fluting pres. pple of flute verb.]

I agree with your preference for phlebotomist. Perhaps the spelling is too difficult?

George Kovac
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby George Kovac » Thu Aug 11, 2022 8:09 am

From “The Music Man”:

Mrs. Paroo (disparaging Marion, River City’s bookish librarian and prominent spinster):

“When a woman's got a husband, and you've got none, why should she take advice from you? Even if you can quote Balzac and Shakespeare and all them other high-falutin' Greeks.”
"The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words." Colum McCann, But Always Meeting Ourselves, NYT 6/15/09

David Myer
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby David Myer » Fri Aug 19, 2022 3:55 am

Great quote, George. I love it.

Philip Hudson
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Re: High-falutin'

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Aug 19, 2022 4:28 pm

This is a very amusing good word. Remember the world owes us rednecks for its creation. Who says we haven't created a lot of good stuff here in the hinterlands.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.


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