[Ads-l] bloviate

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 8 21:24:06 UTC 2022

To my shame, I omitted "bloviate" from HDAS 1, because I had only one
independent cite, from Barrere & Leland (1889-90). The word became common
(again) in political commentary in the mid- or late 1990s.

OED, to its credit, finds cites as far back as 1845.

But here's an earlier ex., likewise from Ohio:

1838 _Scioto Gazette_ (Chillicothe, O.) (Mar. 8) 2: We commend the
following to the rapt perusal of all who ever had the high honor and
exquisite pleasure of hearing Mr. Wm. Allen bloviate in the Court-House of
this county, or on the stump in any of our highly favored precincts. What
an excellent place the Hall of the U.S. Senate must be, for a man to speak
in "as has a good woice, and a decent notion for usin' on't."

Note the oddly Dickensian "woice" in a U.S. context.

And here is "bloviation" (OED:1850) from a few days later, also in Ohio -
and ina headline: The Journal and the late Legislature --- bloviation and
falsehood --- individual liability and acts of incorporation."

1845 _Ohio Statesman _ (Columbus, O.) (Mar. 19) 3:


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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