I’ve always thought that words were the coolest thing. As a kid (and now as an adult) my idea of a good time was reading dictionaries. For me, discovering new words – the weirder the better – was more fun than a box of bunnies.
I suppose that’s not much of a surprise – I don’t know any writer who doesn’t love words. Readers love words too. There’s a certain magic, a certain power in a well placed word – even if most your friends have no idea what you’re talking about when using it. In fact, maybe some of your friends and family have word shamed you – accused you of using a $20,000 word when a $3 word would do, right?
Following is a list of a few of my favorites:
Discombobulate: Don’t you just love the sound of that word? It conjures up pictures of machines deconstructing or things blowing up, right.
Definition: To upset or confuse.
Aunt Myrna was discombobulated by the food fight at the family picnic.
Fetching: This was once a fav in romance novels.
Definition: Attractive, pleasing to the eye
Her raven hair and bright green eyes fringed with thick lashes made her quite the fetching lass.
Balderdash: So Wodehouse, right?
Definition: Foolish words or ideas
According to the World Health Organization, the idea that one can contract Swine flu from eating pork chops is pure balderdash.
Peckish: A word you’re more likely to hear down south.
Definition: Slightly hungry : Irritated or annoyed
Let’s stop for lunch – I’m a might peckish.
Gumption: A word Jimmy Stewart could’ve uttered with a straight face.
Definition: Courage and confidence
What we need here is a little gumption – give those high and mighty bankers what they deserve. That’ll teach ‘em.
Drivel: Don’t you just love the sound of this word?
Definition: To talk in a very foolish or silly way
I’m so tired of TV, nothing but one-dimensional characters talking drivel to one another.
Drubbing: Now here’s a word you can sink your teeth into
Definition: To beat severely : To berate critically
After the drubbing the actor received from the NY Times critic, he cried like a baby.
Licentious: Sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it?
Definition: Sexually immoral or offensive
Though 50 Shades of Grey was lauded as a romance, it was really a licentious tale of two very troubled people.
Licketysplit: You can feel the motion in this word, can’t you?
Definition: Fast. Quick. At great speed
Get cracking boy – time to move it – licketysplit.
Maw: I love this three letter word, it’s dark, it’s sinister and so easy to spell.
Definition: The mouth, jaws, or throat of an animal
His heart was a gaping maw of blackness.
So, what are your favorite words? Share them with us. Why do you like them? Have you been word shamed too? What happened?