In a word: Bloviate

October 10, 2011

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:


You're accustomed to seeing words of impeccable Latin or Greek pedigree in this feature, but with more than a year to go until the next presidential election, it seemed best to pick for this week's word something purely American and apposite.

Bloviate (pronounced BLOW-vee-ate) means to speak bombastically or grandiosely and at length. Etymologically, it combines the word blow — think blowhard — with the iate suffix for a pseudo-Latinate effect. The word is frequently identified with President Warren G. Harding, who, though he did not coin it, used it frequently and whose speeches exemplified its meaning.

Example: Bill O'Reilly takes a refreshing attitude in his advice to viewers sending him email: "No bloviating. Thats my job."

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