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A farrago over rodomontade: Shashi Tharoor sends Twitter scurrying for dictionary, again

Shashi Tharoor says the words he uses aren’t the most ‘rodomontade’ ones. Twitter wonders what it means.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2017 18:46 IST
Shashi Tharoor,Rodomontade,Farrago
In a repeat of farrago, Shashi Tharoor’s use of the word ‘rodomontade’ in a tweet made Twitterati look up dictionaries. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

What’s a rodomontade? The lesser known brother of lemonade? A close cousin of covfefe?

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s use of the word in a tweet on Thursday sent Twitter furiously looking up dictionaries to find what it means.

Tharoor, known for his impressive vocabulary and his use of unusual English words, had a message for people who send him parodies of his writing and speaking style, tweeting:

Tharoor may have slipped in “rodomontade” deliberately to make a tongue-in-cheek point, but it is an actual word, albeit an arcane one.

The Oxford Shorter Dictionary describes it as ‘A brag, a boast; an extravagantly remark or speech. Boastful or inflated language or behaviour; or extravagant bragging. Boast; brag, rant. Bragging, boastful, ranting.

Online dictionary Merriam Webster defines ‘rodomontade’ as bragging speech or vain boasting or bluster. The word originates from Italian poetry, referring to Rodomonte, a fierce and boastful king who appears in a late 15th century epic, Orlando Innamorato.

This is not the first time Tharoor has introduced a new word to his Twitter audience -- remember farrago?

In May, Tharor posted a scathing response to a TV journalist’s reporting of his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, tweeting, “Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist.”

Farrago launched a hundred memes and jokes, and now it’s time for “rotomontade” to enjoy its moment in the sun.

Twitter users were torn between amusement, admiration and expending effort looking up what the word actually means. Some wondered if Tharoor was a paid agent of dictionaries, others said he should change his name to Shashi Thesaurus. But one thing is certain: Don’t challenge the parliamentarian to a game of Scrabble.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to this new word:

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 18:46 IST