Sunday, October 16, 2011

For the Love of Words

I know a few people who keep quote books, but does anyone out there keep track of your favorite words?  In the red journal I wrote of yesterday, I've saved several pages in the back for just that.  I'm not exactly sure why I like these more than others.  It might be merely how they roll off my tongue, or perhaps because of an interesting etymology.  Here are a few of my faves:

osculate ~ to kiss: a pretentious or facetious usage

puckish ~ impish or whimsical  (Guess the back story on this one.)

undulant ~ rising and falling in waves OR having a wavy form, outline, or surface

wonky ~ shaky, feeble, unreliable

ennui ~ a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction: boredom

sedulous ~ involving or accomplished with careful perseverance; diligent in application or pursuit

embonpoint ~ plumpness of person (but not excessively overweight)

schwarmerei ~ excessive or unwholesome sentiment

rime ~ frost

potboiler ~ a usually inferior work--as of art or literature--produced chiefly for profit  (The back story here is that it was either so overproduced or so inferior, or both, that its best use was for the fire under the soup pot.)

nepenthe ~ a potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain or sorrow OR something capable of causing oblivion of grief or suffering

There are some words which I loathe as well, but I don't dignify them by recording them in a journal.  I'll write a few here though: slacks, blouse, and cancer.

Which words do you love/hate?


  1. I'm smiling reading your post. It reminded me of Zack as a little one. He had a book with several words for each letter of the alphabet. N is for Nutmeg always used to send him into fits of laughter. I used to tuck the word into our conversations often just to hear him giggle!

  2. Some GREAT words there.
    Michelle (Steve's wife) cannot stand the word slacks. I don't know why, but it's so bad she has a visible reaction to it.

  3. LOL, Jen, that's so cute! Emma has a huge stuffed horse that she named Nutmeg. You know, it *is* kind of a funny word now that I think of it.... = )

    Craig, I shudder a little bit myself when I hear "slacks". Even typing it creeps me out. I wonder if Michelle and I would be kindred spirits if we lived closer together.

  4. Two words I like: penultimate and homogeneous

    A word I don't like: moist

  5. Haha..I was going to write moist too. I can't stand that word.


  6. My most "cringy" word: taupe. Taupe. Whoever came up with such an icky word? My grandma always referred to any tan-colored shade as "taupe," and I felt nauseous every time I heard it.
    My favorite words are ones that sound like their meaning. The English language doesn't have as many as some other languages, but I came upon a good one yesterday reading "Night" by Elie Weisel. "Lurid" Isn't that a great one? Such a sickly word, in such a marvelous way!
    Yes, today I'm stalking friends' blogs! I really enjoy your insights and humorous look at life.
    Megan P.

  7. Isn't it funny? The word associations we have?

    I do really like "lurid". I think I'll add that to my list, Megan. Thanks. = )

    And thanks for reading my blog! It's an honor for me. Do you have one?