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Apr 22, 2011
This week's theme
Words derived from musical instruments

This week's words
calliopean
pariah
clarion
second fiddle
highfalutin

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Words related to clothing
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

highfalutin

PRONUNCIATION:
(hy-fuh-LOOT-n)
Also spelled as hifalutin or highfalutin' or hifalutin' or highfaluting.

MEANING:
adjective: Pompous; bombastic.

ETYMOLOGY:
Of uncertain origin, perhaps from high-fluting, from flute. Earliest documented use: 1839.

NOTES:
Highfalutin may or may not be high flute, but the flute's cousin, oboe, is high wood. It's a corruption of French haut (high) + bois (wood). The musical instrument is named owing to its having the highest register among woodwinds. An orchestra typically tunes to an oboe.

USAGE:
"The document talks very highfalutin' and lofty language, which sounds great and is hard to disagree with, but at the end of the day businesses just want to get the basics right."
Hamish Fletcher; Push for More Innovative Auckland; New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Mar 29, 2011.

See more usage examples of highfalutin in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all. -Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564)

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