Bombast

literally means the produce of the bombyx (Middle Latin bombax, Greek bombux), and applied to cotton-wool used for padding. The head of the cotton plant was called “bombast” or “bombace” in the sixteenth century. Bombast was much used in the reign of Henry VIII. for padding, and hence inflated language was so called.

We have received your letters full of love, ...
And in our maiden council rated them ...
As bombast and as lining to the time.

Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Bombast from Fact Monster:

  • Elkanah Settle - Settle, Elkanah Settle, Elkanah, 1648–1724, English dramatist and poet. Thanks to the ...
  • Michel Baron - Baron or Boyron, Michel Baron or Boyron, Michel , 1653–1729, one of the first great French ...
  • Henry Carey - Carey, Henry Carey, Henry, 1687–1743, English author. After the first collection of his poems ...
  • John Dennis - Dennis, John Dennis, John, 1657–1734, English critic and playwright. Best known for his ...
  • Nathaniel Lee - Lee, Nathaniel Lee, Nathaniel, 1653–92, English dramatist. After failing as an actor, he ...

Related Content