After a slight rant about the words which make my skin crawl (my face is literally creased up at the idea of moist right now), I decided it might be a time to explore the nicer side of words. Incidentally, isn’t ‘nice’ bland – you won’t be seeing that one on this list.
It’s clearly not onomatopoeic, but I’m sure the word bamboozle sounds exactly like what it is. Just too many vowels, an elusive z – I’m bamboozled already.
Just the cutest words ever. All I can think of when any of these come up is a cute little hedgehog scuffling around in a kerfuffle, in a flap because he can’t make his bed fast enough to nuzzle with his mate. Just me? Oh.
I’m not sure if this is a country-wide thing, but my Mum used to called me a tinker when I was a child. I’ve since looked it up, and apparently its meaning is a ‘naughty child’, but in an affectionate way (here’s me thinking I was adorable). My love of this word, I think, comes from the high-pitched way my Mum used to say this to me, and the almost whisper quality to the t and the k. Adorable.
The word itself isn’t really all that great, in my opinion, but for some reason I can’t stop using it in my essays! My parents normally proof my essays to cast an objective eye over my work, and they find endless enjoyment in circling my copious (also a good word) usage of the word. To the point that last Christmas, they bought me one of those vintage newspaper rings with the word incredibly inside. I wear my intensifier with proud. Here it is if you’re interested in my old lady fingers:
What a word. And one that we definitely need today. One of my seminar tutors was saying how the term ‘banter’ used to be quite helpful, but it’s now been hijacked by the lad culture and has this horrific connotation. Solution. Use an incredible word like persiflage instead.
By an absolute mile, my favourite word. Sorry to get all linguistic-y on you, but there is something about that plosive that is fabulous. My boyfriend now drops it in conversation all the time just because he knows it will always get a smile.
I went to a lecture by the excellent David Crystal in first year, and he asked us to think about our favourite words and why. Most people picked things like ‘beautiful’, ‘harmony’, ‘save the children’, ‘I wish for world peace’ (ok, slight exaggeration, moving on), because they liked the subject matter, but self-indulgent me just liked the p sound in implode.
What are your favourite words?