Yesterday’s post explained the difference between Spanish grandor and English grandeur, with the Spanish noun meaning more literally ‘size’ or ‘large size’ and the English figuratively ‘magnificence, splendor.’

Another pair of cognates based on grande are likewise “false friends,” but in a somewhat different way. One member of the pair is Spanish grandioso, which means ‘magnificent, outstanding.’ While English grandiose used to have those senses and sometimes still can, it now more often means, in the words of the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary, ‘characterized by affectation of grandeur or splendor; flaunting; turgid; bombastic.’ The corresponding nouns, with their corresponding meanings, are grandiosidad and grandiosity.

We (notice how that plural pronoun shifts some of the blame away from me) can close with this poor excuse for a haiku:

means the same thing as and rhymes
with pomposity.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TBM
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 10:02:33

    I love your posts, but I feel guilty when I read them since I’ve been neglecting my Spanish lessons. Right now, I’m counting these as my lessons.


  2. Steve Schwartzman
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 11:59:55

    I give you leave to count these articles as lessons too, though I don’t want to steer you away from your “official” lessons.


  3. scribbla
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 15:14:39

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting there. I’m really glad you did because I have now found your super blog. I’m following immediately. This is such a great idea.


  4. Trackback: grande(e) « Spanish-English Word Connections

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If you encounter an unfamiliar technical term in any of these postings, check the Glossary in the bar across the top of the page.
©2011–2016 Steven Schwartzman
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