A Word A Day : Bodacious

Saturday, 12th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective & Adverb)

Pronunciation : bō-dá-ys-ess

1. outrageously arrogant or uninhibited

2. remarkable or excellent

3. unrestrained by convention or propriety

4. audacious, bold or brazen

5. extremely ( Adverb )


Mid-19th century - Perhaps alteration of dialect blend of bold - audacious and Probably from dialectal boldacious, blend of bold and audacious


Popularized in the comic strip Snuffy Smith, bodacious is probably a blend of the words bold and audacious, whose combined senses are evident in the following description of Sevier County, Tennessee, as "the most bodacious display of tourism this side of Anaheim" (Los Angeles Times). A more traditional meaning is "remarkable, prodigious": "a bodacious amount of smoke" (Springfield MA Morning Union); "the most bodacious tale of hidden treasure" (Lawrence E. Will). Bodacious can also be an adverbial intensifier: "She's so bowdacious unreasonable when she's raised [irritated]" (William T. Thompson). African-American speech in New York City retains this Southernism as bardacious. Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary cites the form boldacious, which is the likely source for bodacious.


assured, aweless, ballsy, bodacious, bold, brassy, brave, cheeky, chesty, cocky, confident, cool hand, courageous, crack, daring, dashing, dauntless, doughty, flip, fresh, gallant, game, gritty, gutsy, gutty, heroic, icy, indomitable, intrepid, lion-hearted, nervy, plucky, salty, sanguine, sassy, smart, spunky, sure, unabashed, undaunted, unflinching, valiant, valorous, wise


afraid, apprehensive, cowardly, frightened, scared, terrified

Contextual Examples:

• I need to see representations like me, a 30-something vivacious, bodacious, absolutely cute and sexy.

• That's one bodacious boat!

• What you heard is nothing but a bodacious gossip.

Related Words:

bowdacious : Adjective

bodaciously: Adverb

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