Word of the Day – Bumptious

Word of the Day : June 8, 2021



  • : presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive : obtrusive

Did you know?

While we’ve uncovered evidence dating bumptious to the beginning of the 19th century, the word was uncommon enough decades later that Edward Bulwer-Lytton included the following in his 1850 My Novel: “‘She holds her head higher, I think,’ said the landlord, smiling. ‘She was always—not exactly proud like, but what I calls Bumptious.’ ‘I never heard that word before,’ said the parson, laying down his knife and fork. ‘Bumptious indeed, though I believe it is not in the dictionary, has crept into familiar parlance, especially amongst young folks at school and college.'” The word is, of course, now in “the dictionary”; ours notes that it comes from the noun bump and the -tious of fractious.


“The brash, bumptious New Yorkers I’d encountered in college had assured me that everything in New York was ‘the best.'” — Herbert Buchsbaum, The New York Times, 19 Jan. 2021

“Since its introduction in the late 1990s, the Escalade has been the 118-year-old Detroit luxury brand’s flagship—its most expensive model, and the one that perhaps best represents the marque’s distinctly American blend of bumptious brazenness, brassy luxury, and go-anywhere capability.” — Brett Berk, Architectural Digest, 10 Feb. 2020