Needed: A few good words

Since the age of 12, I have kept a quote book. It’s strange to see Langston Hughes written out in my careful 12 year-old handwriting, and reminds me of where I was then, and where I am now.

I have recently decided that I need to start a word book. Words that delight me. Like “serendipity.” and “chaos.”

So, Dopers. We seem to be a semantic (sometimes semetic) bunch. What is your favorite word, and why?

Brobdingnagian. Adjective: Large

Cause it gives people whiplash when you say it.

Codswallop: a polite word for Bullsh*t

Walleydriegle (sp?): unkempt

Please give these words a good home. They need exercise, so take them out once a day.

Labyrinthine = Convoluted, like a complex maze.

Ensorceled = Enchanted or bewitched.

Interstices = Small or narrow spaces in between objects or parts.

Defenestrate: to throw a thing or esp. a person out of a window. The defenestration of the commissioners at Prague {1610-20).


Phrenology…study of the shape and bumps on the head. Used to determine character & intelligence. It’s a discredited idea, but I really like to use the word whenever possible. It’s hard to work into daily conversation though.


I’ve had a quote page in my journal/writing notebooks since I was about 11, and I used to have word pages as well. I love this thread.

amaranthine-eternally beautiful

bete noir-the thing one hates or fears most
I just feel good about being able to throw around a French phrase.

eldritch-strange or unearthly, eerie

incognito-disguised under a false name

prolix-tediously prolonged, wordy

mea culpa-I am to blame
I felt smart for knowing something in Latin when I was 11. Plus, I got it when, after grading the first quiz, my Roman history professor suggested we all go home and chant “mea culpa.”

Disambiguate. Learned that one on the boards here. I forget who used it, but I thought they were coining a word, and I liked it. Turns out it’s a real word.

Borborygmi - this is the odd gurgles and other sounds your stomach makes. I didn’t even know it was a word until I saw it in a restaurant review.





Unundulating. Have never been able to work it into conversation w/out giggling, though.

zugzwang. (From chess but can be used in other contexts: a position in which one is forced to make an undesirable move.)


squinch (An arch or lintel built into the upper corner of a square space, allowing a circular or polygonal dome to be placed more securely above the walls.

Ooh, I too love sesquipedalian. It’s so self-referential!


Tintinnabulation - the ringing of bells.

Quintessentail - someone said it, but I love this word. It’s so fun to say.

Ridiculous - said properly, this can be a very scathing insult. And I love the hard sounds in it that mimic its meaning.

Superfluous - learn how to pronounce it correctly and everyone will be impressed.





Gelatinous - I love this word because I have a funny story for it. I was really tired at school one day, and I told my friend Tina I was gelatinous with fatigue. She could not believe that gelatinous was a word, and we argued for a while. Then she looked it up, and was like, alright, but who says it in a sentence?!

Then like three weeks later we had to read 1984, and sure enough Orwell said the exact same thing: “Winston was gelatinous with fatigue. Gelatinous was the right word.” I screamed like a banshee when I read that! Tina swore up and down that I had read the book before, but I hadn’t really. To this day, if I bring it up, she says all sorts of insulting things about me being a phony and a fake-word user. :slight_smile:

Good luck with your list, Swiddles.

I meant, of course, quintessential. Mea culpa! :slight_smile:

A friend of mine once said “Damoclean sword” in the sense of “double edged sword”.
You wouldn’t believe how long the argument went.

Nonetheless, Sword of Damocles is a great one.






And redundant.

Redundant is a good word. It really is. Really.