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Word Curio

June 8, 2021

Word of the Day: Bumptious

2 CQ

Word of the Day : June 8, 2021

bumptious \BUMP-shus\ adjective


: presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive : obtrusive

Did You Know?

While we've uncovered evidence dating bumptious to the beginning of the 19th century, the word was uncommon enough decades later that Edward Bulwer-Lytton included the following in his 1850 My Novel: "'She holds her head higher, I think,' said the landlord, smiling. 'She was always—not exactly proud like, but what I calls Bumptious.' 'I never heard that word before,' said the parson, laying down his knife and fork. 'Bumptious indeed, though I believe it is not in the dictionary, has crept into familiar parlance, especially amongst young folks at school and college.'" The word is, of course, now in "the dictionary"; ours notes that it comes from the noun bump and the -tious of fractious.

Aired June 8, 2021

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