Trend Watch

Trump: 'I Wrote the Art of the Deal. I Say Not in a Braggadocious Way.'

Lookups for 'braggadocio' spiked after Trump said 'braggadocious'

Lookups for braggadocio spiked during the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on September 26th, after Trump used a word that is very similar in nature and spelling. The word employed by Trump was braggadocious, which is a dialectical word from 19th century America, meaning “arrogant.”

…the disturbance of an audience of a crowded theatre, on the same evening, by loud and offensive braggadocious and conspicuous gestures and headshakings….
Daily Courier (Louisville, KY), 15 Jan., 1851

Donald Trump has used braggadocious previously, in earlier debates; the word is 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.

SO then of Pappadocio: whom neuerthelesse I esteeme a hundred times learneder, and a thousand times honester, then this other Braggadocio; that hath more learning, then honestie, and more money, then learning, although he truly intitle himselfe, Pierce Penniles, and be elsewhere stiled the Gentleman Raggamuffin.
—Gabriel Harvey, Pierces supererogation, 1593

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