showboat

1. To have a visibly exaggerated idea of ones own skills, talents, or abilities. 

2. To exhibit an enormous amount of unfounded pride for a skill which is actually mediocre.

3. a boat, especially a paddle-wheel steamer, used as a traveling theater.

4. a person, especially an athlete, who performs in an ostentatiously sensational manner calculated to draw attention; a show-off.

5. to perform or behave in an outrageous or spectacular manner.

The original showboats were floating theaters built on barges pushed by a steamboat. They played small towns along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Unlike the boat shown in the movie Showboat, these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing, which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is ‘showboating.’

I’m curious as to whether this word is more American than Canadian, since I’ve only heard it for the first time very recently. 

My apologies for being late with this contribution. My only excuse is that I’ve been so involved with Book #3 of the current science fiction series that I forgot what day it is!

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