Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Boastful vanity


Boastful vanity

Somehow I ended up with an intriguing multi-volume dictionary, each slim volume detailing words associated with one of the seven deadly sins. This 2011 series is called The Deadly Dictionaries. This week’s post features words that appear in the volume titled Pride – a Dictionary for the Vain. May you enjoy the words, but avoid manifesting the meanings.

A person who is contumelious is scornfully arrogant or insolently abusive. The adjective contumelious came to English in the late 1400s through Old French from Latin.

Kvel (or kvell) came to English through Yiddish from a Middle High German word meaning to gush or swell. Those who kvel these days boast in an overly proud manner.

One who is fastuous is haughty, arrogant or ostentatious. Fastuous appeared in English in the 1600s from Latin.

Foofaraw is an excessive amount of decoration one heaps on oneself. The noun foofaraw was born in America in the 1930s. Etymologists haven’t nailed down its source, but some suggest it may have come from the Spanish word fanfaron, which means braggart.

Vain boasting can be called rotomontade, a noun that arrived in English about 1600. The word is based on the character Rodomonte in Arioso’s parody, Orlando Furioso.

In the 1580s the noun saucebox was born, meaning one who is addicted to making saucy remarks.

And we’ll finish up with some idioms meaning to boast:
-to swing the lamp
-to be puffed up
-to shoot a line
-to crow
-to draw the long bow
-to toot one’s own horn
-to think no small beer of oneself
-to fly the bunk
-to have cornstarchy airs

I’m hoping you have something to say about all this boastful vanity. If so, please leave a note in the comments section.




8 comments:

  1. I wrote something quite clever, but then the page refreshed and I hit sign out instead of publish and I spent the last 5 minutes trying to sign back into google, because I couldn't even get into my mail or anything so I have to go lie down now. I think this isn't a good day for me. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne -- be sure to appreciate the fact that even if you're having a bad day, at least you're not contumelious!

      Delete
  2. Charlie, I can't pronounce half of these words! Have to admit I loved the idioms especially to have cornstarchy airs. That's a hoot. How did they ever come up with to swing the lamp? I can't figure that one out at all. Unless they're talking about Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Great Chicago Fire. :) Great post. And a fun one, too. Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Paul - so glad you popped by. Idioms always crack me up -- the humor (I think) is amplified when they sit together on the page (much like Tom Robbins & all his metaphors).

      Delete
  3. Why is it that each of your listed synonyms wrenches to mind the image of one whom I shall call, unironically, the "kvel-meister" of our time and who, I hope and pray, by early November will fade from our daily consciousness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Steve,
      This may have to do with the fact that you just had surgery & are most likely stuck in front of the tube forced to watch creatures of the kvel-meister variety. Get better soon!

      Delete
  4. These words are a delight to read and try to figure out the pronunciation for. What a colorful array of vanity! I suppose it is a good thing I have never heard of most of them. That means, I guess, that I don't know any one worthy of such a word and no one has ever deemed the same of me. I hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fine point, though one never knows when one might need words like these.

      Delete