At yesterday’s US presidential debate, Donald Trump said this: “I have a tremendous income. And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocious way”. It left a lot of people scratching their heads as to whether he made the word up. We did some research to find the answer.
‘Braggadocious’. Sounds like a nonsense word, like ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ from Mary Poppins.
After the word was uttered by the Republican presidential candidate, thousands of people hit the web to Google the definition for ‘braggadocious’. Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s sassy Twitter account weighed in on the topic:
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 27, 2016
Merriam-Webster noted that the term ‘braggadocious’ is a word “not common enough to merit an entry in our dictionary”
“It is thought to have come from braggadocio (also not a common word today), which is considerably older. This term, which currently means ‘the annoying or exaggerated talk of someone who is trying to sound very proud or brave’ began to be used in the beginning of the 17th century, at which point it simply referred to a braggart.”
The Collins English Dictionary, however, does have an official definition for ‘braggadocious‘:
US informal boastful
So there you have it. Depending on where you look, ‘braggadocious’ is recognised as a word but it’s rarely used and is specific to the US.
Lifehacker’s Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.