Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FANCYPANTS:  The New York Times would like you to know that highfalutin is preferred to highfaluting.  No one is really sure where the word came from -- probably an American folk derivation -- though it appears to have taken off in the 1850s, and peaked in the post-WWII era.


  1. Joseph Finn10:50 AM

    I'm with the NYT on this one; highfalutin is closer to the pronounciation, while highfaluting adds on an additional "eeen" soun at the end that I think changes the word.

  2. If we're going to spell based on pronounciation, can I start typing "comftorble"?

  3. The Random House Dictionary of American Slang lists only highfalutin but, curiously, has it listed as both noun and adjective. In the entry for the adjective it is suggested that it is "probably influenced by high-flown".

    The wonderful, wonderful Belknap Dictionary of American Regional English lists high-farkin' as a New England variation. The example given is, "What was that high-farkin' Annette going around thundered up like a saloon keeper's flossie for if she couldn't keep a knot-head like the sheriff off a them?" And you thought Deadwood was over the top.

  4. This is just the kind of... er... gratuitously erudite factoid I've come to expect from you, Bonin.  :)

  5. Watchman2:03 PM

    Anyone who puts a "g" on the end of highfalutin certainly is...

  6. Joseph J. Finn7:51 PM

    Since it's an invented word, I'm quite comfy in sticking with the more comfortable spelling.

  7. Squid5:20 PM

    We'll have that incorporated into the style manual by next Wensday.

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