Bona fides

Bona fides‘ is almost always used to refer to one’s CREDENTIALS in a grand way. The reference is not just to documents (although it can be, in the legal realm), it is to the training, experience and body of work that together establish authenticity and legitimacy.

Michael Lewis is a serious writer with a list of serious bona fides: Princeton bachelor’s degree, master’s from the London School of Economics, a brief career on Wall Street and author of best-selling, non-fiction books like “Money Ball,” “The Big Short,” and “The Blind Side.” – Globe Gazette

It need not refer to a member of the establishment. Punk journalists can establish their bona fides. The key point is legitimacy.

My Damage was co-written with National Endowment for the Arts fellow and award-winning writer Jim Ruland, who brought with him his own punk bona fides from his work with fanzine Razorcake, and as a staff writer for its predecessor, the now defunct LA punk zine Flipside. – Claremont Courier

Pronunciation is the tricky part. How should an English speaker pronounce this?

bōna fidēs

We shouldn’t get too prissy here, as language is fluid. But some aspects of the original should be preserved. Here is some good advice: remember to pronounce the ‘e’, and you will be fine. The following is the most accepted modern-day Latin pronunciation:

boh-na fee-days

A version with the Americanized short ‘o’ sound comes in a close second:

bah-na fee-days

Sometimes the computer voice on a dictionary website will say it this way (although I have never heard it spoken this way on the radio):

boh-na f-eye-dees

Here is a common mispronunciation, which lacks all nuance:

bah-na f-eye-ds

The latter just seems uninformed. Not willfully ignorant, just uninformed. So here you go: try it one more time.

In January of 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump took a trip to the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University to burnish his evangelical Christian bona fides.Journal Sentinel

Umm …