What's your favourite English words

My three favourite words of today are: “insidious,” “lush” and “sultry.” I sentence with all three in would really kick ass.

‘What’ and ‘are’.

Blancbec, alluvial, inchoate and cumbrous (the nicer version of cumbersome).

My favorite is an Updike word-- uxorious.

… and yes.

Number One on my list: chockablock.

Possible runners-up: glean, botch, torpid, mook, caterwaul, opulent.

An archaic word I wish I could use more freely: lest.

The Brits have some good ones I wish would take hold over here: gobsmacked, gormless, stroppy.



Not really either English or a word. First of all, it is normally hyphenated, “blanc-bec;”* secondly, it is a loan from French that is only very rarely used by English speakers. Is “hors d’oeuvres” considered to be English now, or “voilà”? I am sure those, and many other French expressions, get used a hell of a lot more by English speakers than “blanc-bec” does.

*The OED list just one example of its use as a single word, by Joseph Conrad, whose native language was, of course, Polish.

My favorite new word is “bling.” It simply sounds like what it is.

Hors d’oeuvres and voila are both English words, yes. You can verify by looking either word up in any decent English dictionary.

I can find at least three other references to the word used in English from a quick search online (I’m not putting that much effort into it because, to be honest, I really cannot be bothered) including another without the hyphen, independent of the Conrad usage.

I love the sound of Cairn.

It was a hot and sultry day, while I lay upon my lush green lawn formulating my insidious plan to take over the world.


It was a hot and sultry day, while I lay upon my lush green lawn formulating my insidious plan to take over my fallopians.


Such a fun word to say. Give it a go :slight_smile:

A tinny word like “insidious” doesn’t belong in the same sentence with wonderfully woody words like “sultry” and “lush”.



shibboleth (ok, that one’s a loaner, but it’s a fun-sounding word for an interesting concept)



It makes me giggle when I hear it.

The sexy but sultry lush was peering at me with an intoxicatingly insidious smile.


I’m a big fan of good old “hence.”