Thursday, February 23, 2012

Your favorite words!

Can you help? I want to write about writers and their love of words, and I do mean words. Specific words. What are words that you love?

Here are mine:
Words I love:

"Opprobrium"-- love that word.

"Lilting."

"Phalange." Don't ask me why. It's actually sort of an ugly word.

"Lingering"-- only the participle. I don't like "linger".

"Dusk."

And "darkling," which I bet John Keats just made up. Darkling, I listen.And for many a time...

Oh, and "listen."

I like "L" words. "Laugh." "Lugubrious." "Lily."

"Torch."

"Forget."

"Imbibe."

"Doubtful."

"Salute."
"Snub."
"Anguish."

"Polish."

"Tell."

I think it's a good sentence when I can use one (or all :) of those.
Help! What are words that you love just because?
Alicia

19 comments:

Julie Harrington said...

Oooooh I'm a word geek. Favorite words:

Syzygy
Ostentatious
Luscious
Snark/Snarky
Sardonic
Origami
Awkward (the spelling alone? Awkward!)
Tofu
Mimosa
Duress
Serendipity
Labradoodle

JT

Erastes said...

Darkling's been around since the 15th century:

"She wolde not come in mennis chaumbres bi night derkelyng withoute candelle."

Some of mine: Post-prandial, louche, languid, standish, Damascene, Parthian, (so annoys me when people think it should be written "parting")

Unknown said...

destiny
Celtic
dusk
hankering
conceed
interject
awkward (agree with Julie-it's the spelling)

Wes said...

I like archaic words and phrases from the 19th century because I was raised in hills of Appalachia. I think many of the phrases the old mountaineers used were poetic, unfortunately I can't think of any now.............

Ah, one: "You are as welcome as the flowers in May."

A word: blow------------stopping your horse to let it catch its breath

Edittorrent said...

What on earth is Syzygy? And how to pronounce? It's always fun to come across words without vowels. (I know the y functions as such, but it's a bastard stepchild of a vowel.)

Erastes, I like "Damask" as in linen.

So why do we like what we like? JT I'd say enjoys kind of funny words-- labradoodle, sort of made up words (serendipity is an invented word, right? From The Three Princes of Serendip?).

Erastes likes words that come from places?
Wes likes archaic words.
Unk... I can't find a pattern there. But I too love "dusk". and "dusky.

Alicia

Edittorrent said...

Erastes, that's interesting about Parthian/parting shot. I guess "parting shot" makes sense (you shoot just as you're leaving), although it's not actually the same as a Parthian shot (where they only feign leaving, right?).

I like the way we kind of try to make words that make sense out of unfamiliar words like Parthian. Oddly, the other example I can think of also begins with "part"-- Emerson, I think, wrote about the soul and "every part and particle," meaning every little bit.

That form exists right along the more common form, "part and parcel," which is (I think) slightly different in meaning. "Part and parcel" is more like an essential element, a natural consequence-- "All nighters are part and parcel of student life."

Other great words? And why do you love them?
Alicia

Edittorrent said...

When I saw the title of your post, my first thought for my favorite words were, "I just sent you the check." :) Ah, I do love those words.

But that's not what you mean. So I guess my favorites are stray bits of legal Latin (pro forma, pro bono, mens rea, in medias res, and similar jargon that sounds high-toned but actually refers to everyday concepts).

And I love some good, creative cussing. Doesn't even have to be all that dirty. I once heard a woman exclaim, "Oh, sizzlefart!" and have held that word close to my heart since.

Theresa

Joan Leacott said...

Such fun! We used to do "Word of the Day" when my son was little. His favourite: discombobulated. It sounds like what it means. I like "enervated" as it means the opposite of what people guess. My favourite paint colour is alizarin crimson. It's considered a "fugitive" colour. I'm learning a whole new vocabulary with my piano lessons: fugue, cantata, diminuendo, mezzoforte.

gj said...

Terry Pratchett has a great passage in the beginning of Wee Free Men with the protagonist mulling over the perfection of the word susurrus:
"Susurrus ... according to her grandmother's dictionary, it meant 'a low soft sound, as of whispering or muttering.' Tiffy liked the taste of the word. It made her think of mysterious people in long cloaks whispering important secrets behind a door: susurruss-susurrus ..."

He's lingered over the word (in other variations, like susurration) in a couple other books too, which leads me to think it's a favorite of his. Me, I don't really have a favorite, except to marvel sometimes over the just-right word for the just-right effect.

Julie Harrington said...

Oh! Another one. Snickerdoodle. Come on! Who can say that without smiling? I've always loved that word (and the cookie).

Alicia, Syzygy refers to 3 objects coming into perfect alignment (meaning a straight line, one behind the other). It usually refers to planets. A good example is the earth, moon, and sun during an eclipse.

It's pronounced to sound like siz-i-jee.

Oh! Another favorite word: umlaut.

JT

Reina said...

Some favorites that come to mind:
trifle
seemy
louse
beck
sparkle
tantalus
aphrodisiac
frivolity
kilt
amorous
absurd
toadyism
flirty
glitter
rogue

I get "Word a Day" emails daily, which is fun. And my shorter OED is what I'd grab in a fire (after my boys, purse, and laptop). ;)

thea said...

Ensorcel
squeegee
cricket
quiet
gush
gonner
quell
verily

L said...

Quaalude.

Addy Rae said...

Other than the word 'that' and my love for using it everywhere?

Lambent
Pong (the smell)
Serendipitous
Affluent
Errant

Anonymous said...

I like several already mentioned:
susurrus
languid
dusk
enervated

I'll add:
ineffable
frisson
gibbous
neap

Edittorrent said...

Theresa, you can take the girl out of law school, but...

Joan, I've always liked "denestrated." I have a book coming out next year where someone is defenestrated.

gj, remember in Diner how the one character kept talking about words.
Modell: You know what word I'm not comfortable with? Nuance. It's not a real word. Like gesture. Gesture's a real word. With gesture you know where you stand. But nuance? I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong.
-
Alicia (nuancedley)

Edittorrent said...

Reina, okay, yes, I like "rogue." But more, I like roguish.

Thea, I can't tell a pattern to yours, but totally agree with squeegee.

L, how about "Vodka"? I do like q words. Q and L. Quaalude hits both!

Addy, what is pong except the first videogame?

Anon, neap? What's that? Neat and cheap?
Alicia

Shelver 506 said...

I can never think of my favorite words when under pressure like this!

-Salubrious is fun, though it sounds far slimier and uglier than what it really means.
-Castigate
-Opprobrium is a favorite of mine as well.
-Auspicious
-Delightful
-Sweet (Just think about the long, slow shape mouth mouth makes when forming the sounds. It makes you smile just saying it!)
-Queue
-Rumpus
-Pendulum
-Heffalump
-Wistful
-Whisper
-Highfalutin
-Lugubrious
-Delugtition
-Fief
-Maulifuff
-Collywobbles
-Quodlibetarian
-Booboisie (parody word of bourgeoisie that refers to the gullible masses)
-Symposium
-EXPECTORATING (Thank you, Gaston!)

... and many, many more. Would it be possible to do a post on words you do NOT like? "Copse," for instance, irritates the tar out of me because it looks too much like "corpse." I read too many murder mysteries, and dead bodies >>> trees.

Shelver 506 said...

Edittorent - Sizzlefart? That's amazing! Mind if I steal it? In my house, we say "Dagnabit." On very special occasions, my mother busts out a "Golly gee wilikers!"

Joan - Can't believe I forgot discombobulated. AMAZING word.