Braggadocio (n)

As this pandemic drags on, and I wonder what will happen with our public schools, my mind, like many I suppose, wanders. One way I try to snap it into focus is by writing a context clues worksheet every day, or nearly every day. I let Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day guide my choices. I pass only on words that are far outside routine educated discourse (yesterday was cognizable, an adjective which means “capable of being judicially heard and determined”–so I let it go by).

Inevitably, I suppose, some words end up here that might not be immediately recognizable as routine vocabulary words, One might say that about this context clues worksheet on the noun braggadocio. Maybe, but it’s a word that has a stout Middle English verb behind it–brag–and is the creation of Edmund Spenser, one of the great English poets.

In any case, where verbal acuity is concerned, we ought to aim high for our students. Braggadocio doesn’t necessarily arise in polite conversation, but it shows up in academic prose and fiction often enough to be worth knowing.

Finally, though, it is a word for our time–today, August 18, 2020. There is a disturbing amount of braggadocio in our midst.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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