EtymologyA reference to Rodomonte, a character in Italian Renaissance epic poems Orlando innamorato and its sequel Orlando furioso.
- Pretentiously boastful.
- Vain boasting; a
rant; pretentious behaviour.
- 1855, Sir Richard Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to
Al-Madinah & Meccah, Dover 1963, p. 67:
- He talks of her abroad as a stern and rigid master dealing with a naughty slave, though, by the look that accompanies his rhodomontade, I am convinced that at home he is the very model of "managed men."
- 1855, Sir Richard Burton, Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, Dover 1963, p. 67:
- French: rodomontade
Rodomontade \rod-uh-muhn-TADE; roh-duh-muhn-TAHD\ is a mass noun meaning boastful talk or behavior. The term is a reference to Rodomonte, a character in Italian Renaissance epic poems Orlando innamorato and its sequel Orlando furioso.
Examples of use
- A 19th century example of the use of the term can be found in The Adventures of Captain Bonneville by Washington Irving. Irving used it to describe the behavior of "free trappers", fur trappers who worked freelance and adopted the manner, habits, and dress of the native Americans. When free trappers visited Bonneville's camp, he welcomed them and ordered grog for everyone:
- They [the free trappers] pronounced the captain the finest fellow in the world, and his men all bon garçons, jovial lads, and swore they would pass the day with them. They did so, and a day it was, of boast, and swagger, and rodomontade.
- The word, with its alternative spelling (rhodomontade) is quoted in John Lukacs book Five Days in London May 1940. While describing the tempestous days of Churchill's first weeks in office, Lukacs quotes Alex Cadogan, a bureaucrat with the Foreign Office, counselling Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax who was complaining that he could no longer work with Churchill. Cadogan said:
- Nonsense: his rhodomontades probably bore you as much as they do me, but don't do anything silly under the stress of that.
- William F. Buckley used the word in a May 29, 1995 column in the National Review entitled "What does Clinton have in mind? - Pres. Clinton's attack on conservative radio broadcasts"; Buckley, asking rhetorically who Clinton was attacking, cited one theory:
- ''The best those commentators could do who appeared on the MacNeil - Lehrer program was to quote an imprudent remark by Gordon Liddy, but what he said — that if any official came to his house to requisition his pistol, he'd better shoot straight — was more rodomontade than a call to arms or hatred.''
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