Words: high-falutin, adj.
Wednesday 08 December 1999
Nobody talks of low- falutin, or even very much of falutin. It was first recorded in mid-19th- century America, and duly called -a mite jocularly - an "odious word" by James Russell Lowell. The OED moots a variant upon fluting or flying but Jonathon Green's admirable Slang gathers other possibilities: the Dutch verlooten - casting lots; the Yiddish hifelufelem, boastful talk; and the American high saluting - something one accords an officer rather than the desultory gesture made in the quartermaster's stores.
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