brag = angeben, prahlen, sich berühmen, den Mund voll nehmen, große Töne spucken
“Truss v Sunak: a sorry spectacle of playground BRAGGING from a party without a purpose.”
Rafael Behr - Headline in The Guardian (25 July 2022)
- say something in a boastful manner
- to speak too proudly about what you have done or what you own
- to talk boastfully
Oxford Languages / The Cambridge Dictionary / Merriam-Webster
Late 14th century braggen “to make a loud sound”, also “to talk boastfully” is of obscure origin, perhaps imitative related to bray of a trumpet, or related to the Middle English adjective brag meaning “proud, spirited, brave”.
The word braggart, which is the noun for someone who brags, has its roots in the Middle French braguer “to boast, brag”.
A FISHERMAN’S TALE
Like Hemingway, Mark Twain loved to brag about his hunting and fishing exploits. Returning to New York by train one day after a three week fishing trip deep in the heart of Maine (long after the state’s fishing season had closed), Twain retired to the lounge car in search of a suitable stranger to whom he might relate his fishing adventures.
Having struck up a friendly conversation with a prospective admirer, Twain soon found to his dismay that his boasts of a great catch elicited a grim reaction. Still Twain pressed on...
“By the way, who are you, sir?” he finally inquired. “I’m the state game warden*”, the stranger growled. “Who are you?” Twain nearly swallowed his cigar.
“Well, to be perfectly truthful, warden,” he answered, thinking of his catch, iced down in the baggage car, “I’m the biggest damn liar in the whole United States!”
state game warden = Landesjagdaufseher
NOVEMBER FISHING IN CAMBODIA IS NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT
At the start of the monsoon season each June, Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake floods as water comes in from the Mekong River. When the monsoons end in November, the lake lowers, leaving mud banks perfect for rice farming. The lake sometimes lowers so quickly that the locals are able to pick fresh fish out of the trees.
- to (excessively) boast about one’s accomplishments, qualities, or possessions
aggrandize, be pleased with oneself, be proud of oneself, be smug (about), blow one’s trumpet, blow your own horn (trumpet), boast (about), BRAG (about), congratulate oneself (on), crow (about, over), exult (in) feel self-satisfied (about), flatter (oneself), flaunt, fly your own kite, give oneself airs (about) give oneself a pat on the back for, gloat (over), glory (in), grandstand, hug oneself, jubilate, make much of, overstate, parade, pat oneself on the back (about, for), prance around, prate, preen oneself (about), rub one’s hands together, self-glorify, shoot one’s mouth off, showboat, show off (about), sing your own praises, strut, swagger, toot one’s own horn, trumpet, vaunt, whoop
SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:
“Correctly guessing OWAD five days in a row may just have been lucky, but ten days in a row is worth BRAGGING about.”
THANKS to Gilda for suggesting today’s word and to Sebastian for reminding us of it!
HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:
Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40
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