Monday, October 24

The Wonder of Words

Somebody made my life sparkle today.  It so happens that when that someone was reading Francis Whiting's article, The Lyrical Language of Love and Life, on the words that she and her fans adore, they thought of me.  So they popped in and gave it to me accompanied with a little list of their own favourites.  Well.  It was thrillingly sweet and surprising, and it's got me thinking about the words that I love most.  I can hardly restrain myself.  I am swinging my mind from branch to branch of the language tree, adoring the sound of words! 

"Dumpling" was one that Francis Whiting liked.  And after toying with it and rolling it about my mouth like a gobstopper, I found I agree.  "Dum" like a heavy tolling bell, and "pling", like a ping-pong ball bouncing.  Awesome. 

Here a some of my favourites:
  • ameliorate  (because it sounds like it would smell of gardenia air-freshener)
  • rumbumptious (because it's so poncy-poncy and bouncy and fat and fun)
  • resplendent (because it glitters)
  • jocular
  • jaunty
  • magnumopus
  • equilibrium
  • phantasmagoria (because it is just as whimsical and wonderful as it sounds)
  • quixotic (quiz-otic) (because it's chivalrous and over the top and very fun to pronounce)
  • soporific (because I always see Benjamin Bunny and his children sleeping in Mr Macgregor's lawn clippings with paper bags on their heads when I hear it - thankyou dear Beatrix Potter)
  • sagacious (because it sounds slow, wise and benevolent)
"Chocolaterie!"  Pronounce shock-a-lat-er-eee with a heavy French accent and it will feel like hot, melted chocolate in your mouth.

Hokey-pokey!  Higgledy-piggedly!  Fiddle-sticks!  Knick-knacks!  The click clack of "coquetterie" as it clops on your teeth. 
Cobblestones.  Embellish.  Quirky.  Quibble.  Somnolent.  Replete.  Aren't they fun to say? 

What words do you love? 


  1. Lovely post, this! I absolutely adore it. I have a whole list of my own. But my absolute top favourites are 'harpsichord', 'gobbledygook', 'zephyr', 'isthmus', 'bamboozled', 'tarantula', 'artifice', 'beguiling', 'epistolary', 'turtle', 'plectrum' and 'kaleidoscope'. Something about these words made me fall in love with them when I first read them. I can almost remember exactly where I read each one of those for the first time.


  2. This is amazing! I love all of those words :) My favourite words would be either 'cobblestones' or 'kerplunk!' (which isn't a real word, I know I know). Thanks for reminding me just how beautiful and fun words can be!


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