"a boaster," 1570s, formerly also braggard, from French bragard (16c.), with pejorative ending (see -ard) + braguer "to flaunt, brag," perhaps originally "to show off clothes, especially breeches," from brague "breeches" (see bracket (n.)). There may be an element of codpiece-flaunting in all this.
Also as an adjective, "vain, boastful" (1610s). The word in English has been at least influenced by brag (v.), even if, as some claim, it is unrelated to it. Bragger "arrogant or boastful person," agent noun from brag (v.), is attested in English from late 14c. and has become practically a variant of this word.
late 14c., braggen "to make a loud sound," also "to talk boastfully," of obscure origin, perhaps related to bray of a trumpet and imitative, or related to the Middle English adjective brag "ostentatious, proud; spirited, brave" (early 14c.), which probably is from Celtic, and is the source of the surname Bragg (attested from mid-13c.). Perhaps a merger of the two. Other sources suggest Old Norse bragr "the best, the toast (of anything)," also "poetry." Also see braggart for another possibility, but French brague seems too late to be the source. Related: Bragged; bragging.
also blow-hard, "blustering person," 1840, a sailor's word (from 1790 as a nickname for a sailor), perhaps originally a reference to weather and not primarily meaning "braggart;" from blow (v.1) + hard (adv.). However, blow (v.1) in the sense of "brag, boast, bluster, speak loudly" is attested from c. 1300 and blower had been used since late 14c. as "braggart, boaster, one who speaks loudly" (in Middle English translating Latin efflator, French corneur).
"trifling, of no value; invalid, futile," c. 1600, from Latin nugatorius "worthless, trifling, futile," from nugator "jester, trifler, braggart," from nugatus, past participle of nugari "to trifle, jest, play the fool," from nugæ "jokes, jests, trifles," a word of unknown origin.
c. 1600, "a flourish sounded on a trumpet or bugle," from French fanfare "a sounding of trumpets" (16c.), from fanfarer "blow a fanfare" (16c.), perhaps echoic, or perhaps borrowed (with Spanish fanfarron "braggart," and Italian fanfano "babbler") from Arabic farfar "chatterer," of imitative origin. French fanfaron also came into English 1670s with a sense "boastful."
1660s, name of a cowardly braggart (supposed by some to represent a Spanish don) in traditional Italian comedy, from Italian Scaramuccia, literally "skirmish," from schermire "to fence," from a Germanic source (such as Old High German skirmen "defend"); see skirmish (n.). According to OED, a vogue word in late 17c. London due to the popularity of the character as staged there by Italian actor Tiberio Fiurelli (1608-1694).
1610s (earlier rodomontado, 1590s), "vain boasting like that of Rodomonte," a character in Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso" (earlier in Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato," Century Dictionary describes him as "a brave but somewhat boastful leader of the Saracens against Charlemagne." In dialectal Italian the name means literally "one who rolls (away) the mountain." As a verb, "boast, brag, talk big," by 1680s. Related: Rodomont "braggart" (1590s); Rodomontador.
1590s, partial translation of Middle Dutch wijssegger "soothsayer" (with no derogatory connotation), probably altered by association with Middle Dutch segger "sayer" from Old High German wizzago "prophet," from wizzan "to know," from Proto-Germanic *wit- "to know" (see wit (v.)). The deprecatory sense of "one who pretends to know everything" may have come through confusion with obsolete English segger "sayer," which also had a sense of "braggart" (mid-15c.).
1762, "one who bounces," agent noun from bounce (v.), which originally meant "to thump, hit." Given various specific senses in 19c., such as "boaster, bully, braggart" (1833); also "large example of its kind" (1842); "enforcer of order in a bar or saloon" (1865, American English, originally colloquial).
Now it so happened that the brakeman was what is known, in the language of the road, as a "bouncer." That is, he was a hybrid combining the qualities of a brakeman and a bruiser, and was frequently called into requisition by the conductor to take the dirty work of ejecting tramps off of his hands. ["Staats," "A Tight Squeeze," 1879]
"The Bouncer" is merely the English "chucker out". When liberty verges on license and gaiety on wanton delirium, the Bouncer selects the gayest of the gay, and — bounces him! [London Daily News, July 26, 1883]
"exceed in any excess of evil," from Shakespeare's it out-Herods Herod in Hamlet's instruction to the players in "Hamlet" Act III, Scene II. Shakespeare used the same construction elsewhere ("All's Well that Ends Well" has out-villain'd villany). The phrase reflects the image of Herod as stock braggart and bully in old religious drama. The form of the phrase was widely imitated 19c. and extended to any excessive behavior.
Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. ["Hamlet"]