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Alternative forms[edit]


Southern American slang, implied by bodaciously, 1837, either from bodyaciously (bodily, totally, root and branch) (as in “the pigs broke into my fence and destroyed the potato patch bodyaciously”), South Carolina, or a blend of bold and audacious.[1][2]


  • IPA(key): /boʊˈdeɪʃəs/
  • (file)


bodacious (comparative more bodacious, superlative most bodacious)

  1. (US) Audacious and unrestrained.
    If you’re going to lie, you might as well tell a bodacious lie.
    • 1898, Emma M. Bachus, “Tales of the Rabbit from Georgia Negroes” in Journal of American Folk-Lore (Vol 12, No 45), page 115. Google Book page link.
      Then that bodacious Brer Rabbit, he go softly through the bresh, and just creep inside that pig and lay hisself down, and he lay out to keep he eye open and watch out for the cart, but ’fore he know hisself he fall asleep.
    • 1987, Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography[1], London: Lawrence Hill, →ISBN, →OL, page 203:
      As far as I was concerned, the Panthers were ‘baaaaaad’. The Party was more than bad; it was bodacious. The sheer audacity of walking onto the California Senate floor with rifles, demanding that Black people have the right to bear arms and the right to self-defense, made me sit back and take a long look at them.
    • 2002, Margie Little Jenkins, You Only Die Once: Preparing for the End of Life with Grace and Gusto[2], page 209:
      Bodacious living is evident everywhere, but it's easy not to notice the remarkable people and happenings that are present all around.
    • 2007, Darryl Scriven, Daphne Rolle (foreword), A Dealer of Old Clothes: Philosophical Conversations with David Walker, Preface, page xiii:
      Modestly titled ‘Appeal’ with a more particular subtitle, Walker’s text was probably the most bodacious expression of cultural discontent and disavowal of slavery that American society had ever known.
  2. (US) Incorrigible and insolent.
    You, sir, are a bodacious scoundrel.
  3. (Australia, US, slang) Impressively great in size, and enormous; extraordinary.
    • 1976, CBer's Handy Atlas/Dictionary, page 12, column 1:
      bodacious - Extremely strong, as in reference to an incoming signal.
    • 1999, Leo Frankowski, A Boy and His Tank, Baen, First Hardback Printing, pg. 1:
      Twenty meters in diameter to match the bore of the huge Japanese ore drilling machines, the floor had been leveled by an equally bodacious milling robot, and the shiny metallic walls seemed to stretch on to infinity.
    • 2008, Judy Colbert, Off the Beaten Path Virginia: A Guide to Unique Places[3], page vii:
      You can find the most bodacious barbecue and a library designed by noted postmodernist architect Michael Graves.
  4. (of a person) Sexy, attractive.
    • 2004, Sara Gwenllian-Jones, Roberta E. Pearson, Cult Television, page 73:
      [Patrick] Stewart has “been named The Most Bodacious Man on TV by the readers of TV Guide (1992), one of the 10 Sexiest Men by Playgirl (1995), and one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine (1995)”. Asked how he felt about TV Guide’s readers voting him “The Most Bodacious Man on TV,” Stewart replied, “It still astonishes me. It is truly incomprehensible to this day. But it’s very pleasant.”
    • 2004, auction catalogue, #810 HCA New York Comic and Comic Art[4], page 123:
      Bill Ward has always been known for drawing the biggest, bustiest, most bodacious babes to strut across a comic book or cartoon panel.

Derived terms[edit]



bodacious (comparative more bodacious, superlative most bodacious)

  1. (US, nonstandard) Bodaciously.
    • 1935 October, Robert E. Howard, “The Riot at Cougar Paw”, in Action Stories:
      Well, he knows by this time, I reckon, that the fastest man afoot can’t noways match speed with a hornet. He taken out through the bresh and thickets, yelpin’ and hollerin’ and hoppin’ most bodacious. He run in a circle, too, for in three minutes he come bellerin’ back, gave one last hop and dove back into the thicket. By this time I figgered he’d wore the hornets out, so I came alive again.


  1. ^ Francis Lieber Americanisms, Anglicisms, etc, etc., aka, Notes on Language
  2. ^ Francis Lieber’s Americanisms as an Early Source on Southern Speech