I’ve been a logophile ever since I can remember. The word nerd inside of me can’t resist a multi-syllabic hundred dollar word. Back in high school, I took a class called Word Clues where we nerdily dove into the amazing art of etymology. Not that I sit down and read the dictionary (often), but I’m always on the lookout for another word to add to my vocabulary. Using a new word in conversation gives me an embarrassing wave of excitement.
My four-year old son loves the PBS show Word Girl, which often touts the little ditty, “What’s Your Favorite Word?” Such a loaded question. I have so many! Because I’m a lover of lists (if anyone knows a word for that, please let me know), here, in no particular order, are a list of some of my favorite words I’ve learned throughout my life. You may know them, you may not. Try using these in a sentence this week.
1. Prestidigitation: magic tricks
2. Septuagenarian: a person in their 70’s
3. Inertia: an object at motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an outside force
4. Quagmire: a boggy area of land
5. Triskaidekaphobia: fear of the number 13
6. Languid: weak, faint or fatigued
7. Onomatopoeia: a formation of a word from a sound associated with what it is named
8. Cacophony: a harsh mixture of sounds
9. Sanguine: optimistic or blood-red (double bonus!)
10. Muckrake: to search for and expose scandal or corruption
These are my favorite words. They may not be earth shattering, nor are they meant to be. These words for some reason, have stuck in my brain since the first day I heard them. I love to use them whenever I get the chance. I actually find myself editing them out of my work. They are great, but they aren’t always so great where I decide to place them in young adult fiction. However, I may just sneak one in every once in awhile for an extra giggle.
So it just begs the question for you…”What’s your favorite word?”