The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

These are a few of my favourite words

If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve probably heard me say it a hundred times, I love words. The dictionary describes a word as ‘a sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes.’ A morpheme is ‘a meaningful linguistic unit’ but let’s not get bogged down by definitions.

I’m fascinated by their ability to paint pictures, sculpt images and create worlds and experiences. I’m amazed at their power to evoke emotions, arouse empathy, provoke anger and jealousy, instil confidence and inspire courage. Words are intrinsically endowed with the potential to heal and hurt, build up and tear down, to help and to hinder.

It is impossible to count the actual number of English words but there are at least 250,000 and possibly up to 750,000 words in current usage. However out of these hundreds of thousands of words, I have a few favourites and I will share some of them with you.

Discombobulate – a verb meaning ‘to throw into a state of confusion’. It’s not one I use in casual conversation but I just love the cadence of the word.

Infinitesimal – an adjective meaning ‘immeasurably or incalculably minute.’ Such a large word for something so small, I love the irony of it.

Bumptious – an adjective which means ‘crudely, presumptuously or loudly self-assertive.’ This word is extremely onomatopeic, it sounds exactly like what it means.

Mellifluous – an adjective meaning ‘flowing with sweetness and honey’ or ‘smooth and sweet’. This is another word that sounds to me like its meaning.

Dulcet – an adjective which means ‘pleasing to the ear; melodious.’ This word makes me smile whenever I hear it.

Onomatopeia – a noun. ‘The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.’ I first heard this word in Oral English class in secondary school. I’ve been in love with it ever since.

Sesquipedalian – a noun. ‘Given to or characterized by the use of long words.’ I tell you, whoever came up with this word is a genius and has a fantastic sense of humour! A long word to describe one who uses long words Smile.

Sanguine – an adjective and a noun meaning ‘cheerfully optimistic, hopeful or confident.’ I love this word because it describes me to a ‘t’.

Tautology – a noun. ‘Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.’ I heard this word bandied around quite a bit when I was growing up and for a long time, I didn’t believe it was an actual word. I thought it was made up. I’ve since come to appreciate not just its ‘bona fidelity’ Winking smile but also its meaning.

Defenestrate – a verb which means ‘to throw out of the window.’ Rolling on the floor laughing This word makes me laugh. I have visions of certain people being defenestrated and it sets me off.

These are just some of my favourite words. I will hopefully share some more in another post. I hope you’ve enjoyed these.

What are your favourite words and why?

Thanks for stopping by and tara for now.


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12 thoughts on “These are a few of my favourite words

  1. Love the image you used – the words hugging the girl!

    Onomatopoeia was one I heard in school too **wink, **nudge! Had to pronounce every single alphabet so I could remember the spelling. (O-no-ma-to-po-e-i-a!)

    Discombobulate was one I heard for the first time as an adult. Taye Diggs, the actor, used it in an interview and I thought ‘What a surprise. Never thought Hollywood stars had a huge vocabulary! Politicians and academics – yes, but actors – no! Better go look it up!’.

    Tautology was another I picked up during my high school days.

    Mellifluous does sound like the meaning.

    Favourite word – can’t think of any now. Favourite phrase – ‘This too shall pass!’

  2. Interesting words. the word defenestrate reminds me of the headmistress Mrs. Truchbull in the movie matilda.

  3. I find this interesting; I also like “discombobulate”. I think I picked it up in Charles Dickens along with “antediluvian”.
    Others I like are: infidel, scoundrel and umbrage.

  4. Mellifluous and dulcet. You could not have summed up my voice any better even if you’d tried. Great post, loved the images :).

  5. I love so many words and language it’s difficult to think of a favourite, disingenuous is one I like for it’s subtlety and I love the way you broke down your favourites. I also like the way the French use phrases to describe concepts, like Joie de vivre, piece de resistance and c’est la vie. I wonder if that came from Latin, because that happens in Latin as well: Modus operandi, modus vivendi and so on….Well done for a great post. :*

  6. Mine were ‘autochthonous’ ‘endonormative’ ‘timeous’ ‘appurtenant’ to be ‘in tandem’ etc

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