Skip to content

10/24 – Top five favorite words

October 23, 2008

This week – list your top five favorite words.

Bonus – also list your five least favorite words.

Advertisements
8 Comments leave one →
  1. delphinia permalink*
    October 23, 2008 7:55 pm

    I’m shocked, stunned, astounded, staggered, and flabbergasted that I am the first to post!

    Behemoth. Ginormous animal from the Judeo-Christian holy book; something of monstrous size, power, or appearance. Synonym: leviathan
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Leviathan&searchmode=none

    Balderdash. Nonsense; syn: poppycock
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=balderdash&searchmode=none

    Quaint. Unusual, pleasingly old fashioned. Used to mean cunning, clever, knowing.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=quaint

    Credenza. Sideboard for storing valuables. From the Italian for “credence.”
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/credenza
    At one point, I thought I might like to have a daughter, if she were a rather severe-looking little one named Credenza. But then I forgot to have children.

    Nitwit. Made up in the 1920s from the new and very old. Yiddish “nit,” nothing (new to the US in 1922) and wit, very old, Olde Englishe word “to know”. Isn’t the English language terrific, phenomenal, awesome, glorious, fun, super, and fantastically glamorous and boffo? Synonym: Fuckwit (Anglo-Saxon-Olde Englishe).

    Least favorites:
    Intramural. I don’t like saying “mural,” it’s unnecessarily difficult. And “intra” is just weird.

    Paradigm. People use this incorrectly all the time. I’m not even sure what it means anymore. Do we still need it?

    Verbiage. You’ve heard me on this one, I hope.

    Pro-life. Worst made up word ever. The way its movementarians want you to use this goes against everything I stand for as a logophile. Instead, I use “pro-fetus,” which is more accurate, even though it still characterizes opponents as anti-fetus, even though I am, personally, fetus-neutral. Of course, technically, we could be talking about an embryo or a zygote. But you don’t see anybody saying the rosary under poster-size photos of zygotes outside the old planned parenthood clinic. Maybe because dryer lint would be more photogenic:
    http://www.ivf-infertility.com/images/pronucleate.jpg.

    Ball/Balls. The two mildly endearing meanings (“Cinderella dashed off to the ball where she had a ball meeting Prince Charming”) in no way mitigate the myriad annoying ones. Ball of wax – Descartes, Philosophy 101, what a frakking nightmare. The whole sports-oriented testicles wordplay. Blech. Plus, it’s ungainly and juvenile. Why not go British and use bollocks? “Bollocks” is another down-to-earth Anglo-Saxon word that sounds healthy and full of animal energy, and puts the whole package in proper perspective. I can’t take “balls” seriously.

  2. October 24, 2008 9:16 am

    m-w.com does recognize “irregardless” as a word, but wants everyone to know that it’s a crap word:
    “Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance.”

  3. October 24, 2008 10:14 am

    Evah: Internets vernacular.
    Sweary: British penchant for cuteifying and thus diminishing things by adding a y.
    “Carole had been looking forward to seeing Druscilla and Tony’s new gate, but it turned out to be just a gatey sort of gate after all.”

  4. October 24, 2008 10:16 am

    Hyperbole is the greatest word in the history of all languages.

  5. October 24, 2008 11:38 am

    Druscilla is a friend of my mother’s from the nursing home who looks like Walter Matthau. Was that not British enough for my gatey gate example?

  6. October 24, 2008 1:08 pm

    Deuce almost sounds classy.

    I use awesome way too much too. Stupid 80s.

    Jackass, dumbass, kiss-ass, broke-ass, lame-ass; so many ways to be an ass. I can’t believe Dr. Seuss didn’t write a book about it.

  7. October 24, 2008 2:43 pm

    Bleh. The worst is “to ball” v. Urgh. So frat-boy.

  8. October 24, 2008 2:45 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue
    The origins of both the activity of barbecue cooking and the word itself are somewhat obscure. Most etymologists believe that barbecue derives ultimately from the word barbacoa found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean. The word translates as sacred fire pit and is also spelled barbacoa.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_etymologies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: