September 12, 2017
swagger (verb)
\SWAGG-er\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to behave in a very proud manner; especially : to walk with a proud strut2 : boast
How do you use it?
"The door had opened suddenly, and a young fellow came swaggering in . . ." (Arthur Conan Doyle, _The Valley of Fear_)
Are you a word wiz?

Good heavens! The end of the sentence quoted from Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle is missing! It's up to you to do a bit of word sleuthing. Based on what you know about "swagger," which of the answers below do you think completes the quotation?

Elementary, my dear Watson--the correct answer is A. A person who swaggers into a room acts very proud, and so it is only natural that the young man in question act "with the air of one who is master." "Swagger" came into English in the late 1500s to refer to acting in a very pompous manner, and meant particularly to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence. It later developed the meaning "to boast," and we derived the noun "swagger" from the verb. "Swagger" probably derived from the verb "swag," meaning "to sway" and the suffix "-er."
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