22. April 2011 · Comments Off on highfalutin …? · Categories: Read Online

From The Spokesman-Review A Word A Day


adjective: Pompous; bombastic.


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


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.

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