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Bloviate – WordWednesdayFun

Bloviate is a word I must confess I had never heard of until a few days ago.

I guess that is because it is American in origin and more likely to be used in American English rather than the correct form of British English 馃檪

It sounds rather jolly. So here we go with the usual format with the聽Merriam-Webster聽definition first followed by the Urban Dictionary. I wonder what lies in store for us with the latter entry?


verb blo路vi路ate \藞bl艒-v膿-藢膩t\
Popularity: Top 20% of words
blo路vi路at路ed blo路vi路at路ing
intransitive verb
: to speak or write verbosely and windily
blo路vi路a路tion \藢bl艒-v膿-藞膩-sh蓹n\ noun

Did You Know?
Warren G. Harding is often linked to “bloviate,” but to him the word wasn’t insulting; it simply meant “to spend time idly.” Harding used the word often in that “hanging around” sense, but during his tenure as the 29th U.S. President (1921-23), he became associated with the “verbose” sense of “bloviate,” perhaps because his speeches tended to the long-winded side. Although he is sometimes credited with having coined the word, it’s more likely that Harding picked it up from local slang while hanging around with his boyhood buddies in Ohio in the late 1800s. The term probably derives from a combination of the word blow plus the suffix -ate.

perhaps irregular from blow

First Known Use: circa 1879

And here is a comment left on the M-W website. I rather like it –
Barbara McDonald
It was used as a descriptor of Donald Trump by a commentator.
Like 路 Reply 路 Mar 15, 2016 5:12am

Now, let’s see what the聽Urban Dictionary聽has to say:

To discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner.

A key attribute to those that sell. To pretend to understand technical subject matter and sell it to others even dumber then oneself.
Tom, bloviated Matt’s shaft for hours on the merits of Mircosoft’s Swiss Cheese 1.0
by joe October 01, 2004

Bloviate is closely associated with U.S. President Warren G. Harding, who used it frequently and who was known for long, windy speeches. H.L. Mencken said of him, “He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.”
After five years as president and thirty years as a political figure, this colossal oaf is still unable to discipline his urge to bloviate.
by Mr. Corruption June 06, 2005
“Balder and dash” indeed, 聽Sir!
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  1. Adam Lawrence Adam Lawrence

    Then there’s Chicago’s bloviating politicians, giving the moniker, “The Windy City.”

    Nice piece.

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