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a humblebrag

an insincere complaint


humblebrag = Bescheidenheitsprahlen, falsche Bescheidenheit



"The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is essentially one evening-long HUMBLEBRAG."

The Washington Post

Did you


- a supposedly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud

Oxford Dictionary


Humblebrag is a blend of 'humble' (modest) and 'brag' (to boast or openly talk about one's accomplishments), two words that are essentially opposite in meaning. The irony behind this is intentional of course.

Comedian and writer Harris Wittels (who passed away in February 2015) coined the term as a reference to celebrities on Twitter who complain and brag at the same time.

Social media has raised the art of the humblebrag to new heights as people try to trump each other with their statuses and photos. But it's not really a new phenomenon. People have always attempted to brag in social situations while appearing modest (often unsuccessfully). Social media simply provides a more convenient and broader delivery platform.


Some humblebrags are more blatant than others, and some are downright clever in the way they are constructed and delivered:

- That last trip to London on our corporate jet was quite exhausting.

- I'm not sure what I did to deserve the “Salesperson of the Year” award.

- I had to take my Ferrari to the repair shop for the second time this month!

- I cancelled my marathon training this morning because of the weather.

- I told my husband not to buy me a Gucci bag for Christmas, but he did it anyway.

PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

“The best way to deal with a HUMBLEBRAG is to just ignore it.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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