(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Bombastic, adj.

According to Merriam-Webster, bombast means “speech or writing that is meant to sound important or impressive but is not sincere or meaningful.” Dictionary.com offers that communication that is “bombastic suggests language with a theatricality or staginess of style far too powerful or declamatory for the meaning or sentiment being expressed.”

Here’s are some examples:

“A woman, if she hates her husband (and many of them do), can make life so sour and obnoxious to him that even death upon the gallows seems sweet by comparison. This hatred, of course, is often, and perhaps almost invariably, quite justified. To be the wife of an ordinary man, indeed, is an experience that must be very hard to bear. The hollowness and vanity of the fellow, his petty meanness and stupidity, his puling sentimentality and credulity, his bombastic air of a cock on a dunghill, his anaesthesia to all whispers and summonings of the spirit, above all, his loathsome clumsiness in amour—all these things must revolt any woman above the lowest.”

-H. L. Mencken, In Defense of Women

“I’m a big, bombastic novelist and thrill-ride guy. I’m never going to win the National Book Award.”

-Seth Grahame-Smith, Author


Currently, the media is portraying Donald Trump as the epitome of all that is bombastic, most often citing his immigration rhetoric. However, there is another world leader whose bombast far exceeds anything the Donald has uttered. That man is Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, who recently responded to critics’ comparison of him to Adolf Hitler by stating “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, what is it? Three million drug addict [sic], there are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

Ending on the lighter side, here’s a hit song by Shaggy called “Mr. Bombastic”: