Vapour trail acrobatics
Vapour trail acrobatics (Photo credit: Biggles1067)
  • VAPOR: \VAY-per\
  • DEFINITION; verb
to rise or pass off in vapor b : to emit vapor
: to indulge in bragging, blustering, or idle talk
Vapor (Photo credit: Mauro Prates)

Andrew spent more time vaporing about his sprint times than actually training, so his teammates were not surprised when he got beaten soundly in all of his events at the next meet.

“The night was clear, and there was a half-moon overhead. Their breath vapored in the chilly March air as they watched the black Cadillac drive off.” — From Michael Baron’s 2005 novel The Mourning Sexton


Speakers of the English language, mindful of the lightness and unsubstantiality of floating air and gas, have put several airy words to good use over the years to describe the act of talking idly or boastfully. The earliest such word is “blow” (as in “he kept blowing about his new job”), which drifted into English sometime about 1400. “Vapor” wafted into the language in the 1620’s, and a little over 200 years later “windbag,” later also known as “gasbags,” not only blew and vapored but also “gassed” about anything they could.



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