Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Often, I've seen "highfalutin" used to describe words or speech.

But as for word usage, is it ok to use "highfalutin" to describe a self-important / pompous person?

E.g.: This highfalutin guy is getting on my nerves...

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by Kris, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, Christi, choster, Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 2 '13 at 12:42

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Kris, Benyamin Hamidekhoo, Christi, choster, Janus Bahs Jacquet
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1  
Does your dictionary not show the adjective form of highfalutin? –  Gnawme Dec 1 '13 at 2:18
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As Gnawme points out in his comment, some dictionaries make reference to highfalutin referring to people

used for describing people, language, or ideas that sound very educated and difficult to understand

This ngram shows numerous references that use the term for people.

share|improve this answer
    
Btw, the ngram shows the total usage for that word right? –  Pacerier Dec 1 '13 at 2:36
    
-1 Wait. That's already GR! Gnawme declared it so already. –  Kris Dec 1 '13 at 6:25
    
@Kris As I said, Gnawme gave the cite. I think it is helpful to also give the definition. The ngram is intended to answered, I would have supplemented his with this info in a comment. –  bib Dec 1 '13 at 18:08
    
@Pacerier Yes, and a quick look makes it seems like more cites may be to things rather than people, but the latter is more than nominal. –  bib Dec 1 '13 at 18:09
add comment

If "highfalutin" is an adjective, then it technically can describe anything, including people, so yes.

share|improve this answer
    
Of course you know I don't mean that... –  Pacerier Dec 1 '13 at 2:32
1  
I presume he wants to know about more than grammatical correctness — "The sunset looks quiet" is grammatically correct, but still nonsense in everyday speech. –  anotherdave Dec 1 '13 at 15:23
    
I see. Thank you. –  Jonathan Spirit Dec 1 '13 at 16:18
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.