Enormous, huge or immense.
Do you remember Brobdingnag? The imaginary country in Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” where everything was in a gigantic scale? Brobdingnagian, the adjective comes exactly from there. Swift’s novel was published in 1727, introducing us to Brobdingnag, and by 1728, merely oe year later, this word was already used to describe anything that is immense, huge and gigantic.
Why this word?
If you’re following this blog, you already know that words coined following books are my favorite words. Modern writers can come up with situations our ancestors could never think of, these situations, if the word for them is needed, lead to actual words used by English speakers. We previously introduced bumbledom, following Dickens’ Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, and quixotic which was coined after Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Both words represent notions that are needed in daily speech, but didn’t yet have a valid word. When readers come across a new noun that will be useful in daily life- a word is coined.
To me, the adjective brobdingnagian represents anything that is of human exaggeration. It is all about an idea that was taken too far.
This is a great word with humoristic sound and meaning that is just fun to say and shows you to be a very well-read person!
How to use brobdingnagian?
If you happen to have a friend who constantly comes up with the biggest plans and ideas, you can say “Oh, it is another one of Jane’s brobdingnagian ideas”.