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Tue., Aug. 14, 2012, 5:21 a.m.

A Word A Day — bloviate

August 14, 2012

Word of the Day

  • bloviate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \BLOH-vee-ayt\


: to speak or write verbosely and windily

Mitchell spent his Sunday morning listening to talk show pundits bloviating about world affairs.

"Does the deluge of financial reporting make us more prone to glaze over when we read about massive debt or when we hear an analyst like CNBC's Jim Cramer bloviate about the latest stock offering? — From an article by Grant Rampy in Abilene Reporter-News (Texas), June 10, 2012


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."

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.