A discussion broke out on NLS today as to whether bloviate is a word. The blogger generally known as “T” says it isn’t a word since he/she cannot find it in Webster’s, while teacherken offers a definition found at Merriam Webster online.
Well, “T”, the overwhelming weight of evidence indicates it is a word.
The American Heritage Dictionary via Bartleby’s also offers a definition; Dictionary.com checks in with a similar take, and onelook.com finds these and ten other online dictionaries/thesaurus that offer definitions.
In fact, it is a word that perhaps offers the ultimate definition of what most folks do on the blogs. The Random House Word of the Day offers a lengthy description of the history of the word. Wes Pruden at the Washington Times uses it frequently. While it had been on the books since 1909, H.L. Mencken gave it significant circulation as using it to describe the oration of Warren G. Harding, putting the word in that special set of political terms we got from the Roaring Twenties, including “booboisie” and “normalcy”.
But take it from one who has used the word regularly-be careful when you use it. To the untrained ear, “bloviate” sounds less like a description of boastful oratory and more like some physical condition that one would not wish on one’s worst enemy…