Printable Version
Pronunciation: blo-vee-ayt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive (used with about, on)

Meaning: (U.S. Slang) To speechify, using highfalutin' words; to speak or write verbosely and windily.

Notes: As the Word History will point out, this word does not follow the usual rules of word formation. However, since fanciful words like this one are often accepted (they do add spice to speech), you should feel free to use it. This one has been around long enough to have earned considerable respectability, including a healthy family that includes an action noun, bloviation, a personal noun, bloviator, and two adjectives, bloviate "bloviated" and bloviating "given to bloviation".

In Play: If you bloviate, you bloviate about something or on some topic: "There goes Gene Poole bloviating about his royal ancestry again." Bloviation can be a symptom of obfuscation: "The financial report begins well enough but ends up bloviating about the economic theories of the CFO."

Word History: Today's Good Word started out in the middle of the 19th century as a mock-Latin word. It is based on the English verb blow, itself semantically associated with blow-hard "braggart" and blow smoke "brag, deceive". The Latin suffix -iate was then tacked on to add to the sense of the highfalutin'. The English word blow developed naturally via Old English blawen from PIE bhle(w)- "blow" that also gave us bladder, blister, and blast. It has nothing to do with Latin. (Without a hint of bloviation, we offer out gratitude to the mysterious William of the Agora for recommending today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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