Idiom:  toot one's own horn


Idiom:  toot your own horn / toot one's horn

  • to boast or brag about your talents, successes or accomplishments

Image of a french horn musical instrument

Note:  First things first; a "toot" is a short, sharp sound made by a horn, trumpet or even the horn on your car if you tap it lightly. (The picture at the right is of a French horn).

It's believed this is an American expression that came into use in the mid-19th century but it comes from a similar expression (blow your own horn), used hundreds of years before that. It's believed that heralds blew trumpets to announce the King's arrival.

Check out this article, which provides more detail on the origin of this idiom.

Example sentences

— In general, men find it easier to toot their own horns than women. 

— If you want to succeed at this firm, you need to actively seek out projects as well as toot your own horn.

— Not to toot my own horn but I scored in the top one percent of all SAT takers this year.

— It makes me sick how Sharon toots her horn at every staff meeting. We all worked on the project and she always makes it seem like she did all the work herself.

— You would never know, because John never toots his own horn, but he speaks five languages fluently and is conversational in two more.

— My mother always said, "Who are you to toot your own horn?" So, we grew up very afraid to brag about anything.

— I really hate LinkedIn. It's just a bunch of people tooting their own horns whilst trying to appear modest.

— You really need to toot your own horn at your interview if you want the job. Be honest but really play up your skills and experience.

— My boss is such a decent person. She didn't toot her own horn at all but emphasized what my colleague and I contributed to the project.

— I'm tired of people tooting their own horn instead of giving credit to the rest of the group.

— I have no problem tooting my own horn when I've done something well.


  • blow your own horn
  • beat your own drum
  • show off
  • pat yourself on the shoulder
  • sing your own praises
  • crow about

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