A Few Good Words, 3

Windy words.

Wind blowing hard, like some speakers.

The word bloviate frequently comes to my mind these days. There’s a lot of it going on. The first syllable sounds like what the word means; blow.

A bloviator is a blowhard. Someone who bloviates, speaks in a windy way, using too many words. I’d add that the words a bloviator uses are generally empty. The word bloviate is traced back to U.S. President Warren G. Harding, who used it often. However, in his day the word meant to hang around, to be idle.

Other words with the same meaning are bluster, which means boastful speech or writing. The wind also blusters when it suddenly gusts from mild to strong.

Bombast is a synonym for bloviate, but it’s a noun, instead of a verb. Bombast means pretentious, inflated speech, or writing. It’s not too surprising then that bombast originally meant cotton or other soft fiber used as padding or stuffing.

The bloviator is stuffed with too many words and allows them to spill out on the rest of us. However, “too many words” is a relative concept that depends on context, mood, and how well those words are handled by the speaker or writer. What’s too many for one person, is just right for another.

2 thoughts on “A Few Good Words, 3”

  1. Well, this is unusual . . . and then thee is antidisestablishmentarianism. I can pronounce and spell it but it doesn’t (and won’t) appear in any of mjy books. GRIN.


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