Puffery is a noun that means false or exaggerated praise.
The word puff, as in something you’d do into a balloon to blow it up, has its origin in Middle English. Like many words, it began as an effort to imitate the sound made while performing the act.
Our word of the day is more likely to be used metaphorically. You may think of puffery as something you do to inflate someone’s ego, just as puffing would inflate a balloon.
Whenever we need a favor from the mayor, a little puffery over the phone doesn’t hurt. Having his ego flattered always seems to put him in a generous mood.