July 11, 2020
bravado (noun)
\bruh-VAH-doh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a display of reckless or pretended bravery
How do you use it?
Cameron liked to brag that the dogs on his paper route didn't scare him, but it was nothing more than bravado; in fact, whenever he heard one he would toss the paper quickly and cycle away.
Are you a word wiz?

"Bravado" comes to us from Italian. Which of the following do you think is the meaning of the Italian ancestor of our word "bravado"?

Were you able to show off your word skills by choosing D? "Bravado" came into English in the late 1500s. Middle French and Old Spanish are its immediate ancestors but they both trace back to the Old Italian word "bravata." "Bravata" comes from "bravare," meaning "to challenge, show off," which in turn comes from Italian "bravo," meaning "brave." Our word "bravo," which is used as a shout of approval, often to applaud a performance, is another descendant, as is "brava," which is used in the same way but for female performers. English "brave" also comes from Old Italian "bravo," but word experts think it probably traces even farther back to Latin "barbarus," meaning "barbarous, uncivilized."
Archive RSS Feed