Humblebrag means a statement which at first seems self-effacing, but in actual fact calls attention to something of which one is proud. Humblebrag may be used as a noun or an intransitive verb, which takes no object. Related words are humblebrags, humblebragged, humblebragging and humblebragger. Though humblebrag appeared for the first time in 2010, it is already in the Oxford dictionary. Humblebrag was coined by the writer and comedian Harris Wittels, who also produced and appeared on the American television show Parks and Rec. Wittels first used the term humblebrag on his Twitter account to point out statements that qualified for the term. In 2012 Wittels published the book Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty. Wittels died in 2015 at the age of 30.
The song that strays farthest from boosterism is the title track, a humblebrag about falling short of beauty-pageant standards. (The New Yorker)
For example, here’s a tweeted humblebrag from actor Stephen Fry: “Oh dear. Don’t know what to do at the airport. Huge crowd, but I’ll miss my plane if I stop and do photos … oh dear don’t want to disappoint.” (Business Insider)
The latest addition to the humblebrag wardrobe is the polo shirt, that don’t-think-about-it summer staple that everyone – man, woman, child – has in their wardrobe. (The Guardian)
If you’re not sure you humblebrag regularly, take some time to go through your Facebook (for example) profile and read your status updates. (The New Indian Express)
Years later, I learned that pressure doesn’t abate with age by reading the humblebrag-heavy family newsletters that my parents would be sent, slipped into the middle fold of Christmas cards. (The Telegraph)
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