One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
no object To assume an arrogant air of authority; to speak dogmatically or pompously.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From French pontifier (1866 in this sense; earlier in senses ‘to rise to the office or dignity of Pope’ and ‘to perform the functions of a pontiff’) from post-classical Latin pontificare; compare -fy.
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