I love words. And I love hearing and learning new words. Some of that is just born out of being a songwriter. But even before I started writing professionally, I savored the sound and meaning of words.
Below is a list of my 13 favorite words. I can’t really explain why I love them. It’s not so much about meaning as it is about the feeling of them in your mouth. Like candy almost.
1 – Tornadic
It just rolls off the tongue. “There was tornadic activity along Interstate 40 today.” You hardly ever hear this word.
2 – Gubernatorial
You don’t hear this word much either. My ideal sentence would be something like, “There was tornadic activity during the gubernatorial elections.”
3 – Skank
Skank is just a funny word. Period. With so many uses. “Does this dress make me look like a skank?” Or “There’s some weird pile of skank out on the deck.”
4 – Anemone
The first time I heard the word “anemone,” I remember saying it over and over to myself as I drove in my car. (I had been hiking with friends, and we were talking about native plants.) It’s a lovely rolling-around-on-your-tongue word. And it wouldn’t be nearly as cool if it were spelled like it’s pronounced.
5 – Stochastic
The newest addition to my collection. About a month ago, I wrote a blog about investing my Roth IRA money. One of the stock market tools I learned about is called the “stochastic indicator.” I walked around my house saying “stochastic” for days after I heard it. Read more about stochastic here.
6 – Resplendent
This is just a beautiful word in both meaning and syllabic delicacy.
7 – Sanctuary
Beautiful word. It conjures up so many images and ideals and such a sense of peace. I also love sanctity.
8 – Exacerbate
Exacerbate is just fun to say.
9 – Obsequious
Another fun one to say.
10 – Subterfuge
Just a cool word. When I first learned it, I kept trying to figure out ways to insert it into conversation. Not easy!
11 – Cantankerous
This is not only a fun word to say, but it’s sometimes a fun word to BE.
12 – Miasmic
I learned this word when I was reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I rushed to look it up, and then I said it over and over again – along with “miasma” – letting it roll all over my tongue and relishing it’s meaning. Then I overused it for a while and annoyed everyone around me.
13 – Patticusian (patt-ih-coos-ee-an)
Every list of favorite words should have at least one made up word.
So, the origin of this word is as follows:
My cat’s name is Atticus. After a year or so he became Atticus Patticus. Atticus is quite dignified. So, I began calling him Mr. Patticus. Mr. Patticus has many interesting personality traits, as well as some of the most original napping positions.
One night my husband was trying to fall asleep. I was lying next to him, wide awake and having conversations with myself. It was quiet in our room, and I said, “So, if the word “dickensian” is used to describe writing or themes that are similar to those of Charles Dickens, could we use the word “patticusian” to to describe behaviors that are similar to those of Mr. Patticus?” This caused my husband to roll over and look at me for a long moment in which I’m sure he was questioning his decision to marry me.
Anyway, it stuck. And we use it often in our house when we are not lost in all the skank and miasma…
What are your favorite words? And do you have any made-up words to share?
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