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The verb's first recorded use is in an 1884 edition of the British journal Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc. by C. A. Ward (see quotation below).
- (nonstandard, now humorous, transitive) To enlarge; to make bigger.
- 1884, C.A. Ward, “New Verbs”, in Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc, volume 10, page 135:
- Are there not, however, barbarous verbs in all languages? ἀλλ’ ἐμεγάλυνεν αυτοὺς ὁ λαός, but the people magnified them, to make great or embiggen, if we may invent an English parallel as ugly. After all, use is nearly everything.
- 2012 4 Feb, Caitlin Moran, “Hair: a big issue”, in The Times:
- As I joyfully embiggen myself into the vague silhouette of Chewbacca, I have time to reflect on just what it is about big hair that I find so elementally appealing.
- 2013 May 19, “Every train station in Britain listed and mapped: find out how busy each one is”, in The Guardian, picture caption:
- Train stations: how busy is yours? Victoria Station in 1927. Click image to embiggen.
- (nonstandard, humorous, intransitive) To enlarge or grow; to become bigger.
- 2007 January 23, Riccardo Argurio; Matteo Bertolini; Sebastián Franco; Shamit Kachru, “Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking”, in Journal of High Energy Physics, pages 24, 26:
- [Page 24] For large P, the three-form fluxes are dilute, and the gradient of the Myers potential encouraging an anti-D3 to embiggen is very mild.
[Page 26] While in both cases for P anti-D3-branes the probe approximation is clearly not good, in the set up of this paper we could argue that there is a competing effect which can overcome the desire of the anti-D3s to embiggen, namely their attraction towards the wrapped D5s.
enlarge — see enlarge