I think it’s safe to say that anyone who loves books is equally fond of words. Some words have a taste of the unique or a delicious weight to work around. Words are food for the soul, and like anyone I have my comfort foods, my guilty pleasures, and my strange cravings.
For this week’s Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday meme, I am returning to an old topic to give you a culinary tour of my favorite words. In no way is this an exhaustive or definitive list. I will barely be skimming the surface of the decadence that is language. And I will keep myself within the boundaries of English for the time being (though some of my favorites are in Latin).
1. Dapper adj. ~ neat, trim, smart, well put together.
Though John usually wears sweatpants or jeans, he looks dapper in a three piece suit.
Gentlemen, of the world, if I tell you that you look dapper, it is my polite way of saying that you look very attractive when you’ve dressed well. It’s a bit of a special occasion word, because I have yet to meet someone who looks dapper everyday. But that’s OK. That individual would probably intimidate the living daylights out of me anyway.
2. Ethereal adj. ~ light, airy; extremely delicate or refined; heavenly or celestial.
The bride was ethereal in her wedding gown.
Often applied to beauty, I also think of ethereal as a great quality to find in poetry or literature as well.
3. Ergo conjunction, adv. ~ therefore.
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar, ergo she is considered one of the best American actresses.
Maybe it was my three years in Latin. Maybe it’s my continued pursuit of academia, but I relish any opportunity to use the word ergo. As a word, it’s somewhat stuffy but try throwing it into a sentence where it might not belong and just see if it doesn’t tickle your funny bone a little. ex: Brent cheated on Jessica, ergo she dumped him.
4. Fuck ~ to have sex; to meddle or treat unfairly.
If James Lipton were to ever ask me what my favorite word is, I would answer with a resounding, “Fuck!”
I’m truly sorry if this offends you because that’s never my goal here as a writer, but it would be disingenuous of me to create a list of favorite words and not include fuck. It’s a word I use daily but I try not to use it around children or to scream it in public or even toss it around often on this blog because I understand that not everyone enjoys hearing this word. But for me it’s a rich Merlot or a brick of dark chocolate that just tastes so good. I also admire the versatility of fuck: it can transform into nearly any form of speech.
5. Rogue n. ~ a scoundrel; a playfully mischievous person.
Finnick Odair is such a rogue.
In the modern era this word has taken on a lighter tone, which is rather enjoyable. But I think I first became acquainted with this word through historical romance novels. No joke, I feel as though historical romance novels prepared me better for my SATs than the vocabulary prep course. Give credit where credit is due.
6. Malicious adj. ~ malevolent, spiteful.
Tabloids are full of malicious gossip.
This word has cropped up in several conversations lately, so I thought it deserved a spot on the list. For such a negative word it has a lovely ring to it.
7. Sustenance n. ~ nourishment; means of a livelihood.
They may not be great sustenance, but potato chips sure are tasty.
If you couldn’t tell, I have a fondness for slightly antiquated words. Craving sustenance also sounds better than simply, “I’m hungry.”
8. Upon proposition ~ immediately or soon after; up and on; from an elevated position; on; on the occasion of.
Once upon a time…
Add a little bit of magic to your life by adding the most stellar opener to a fairy tale into your vocabulary.
9. Spawn n. v. ~ numerous offspring; to give birth or rise to.
Twilight spawned a new interest in YA literature.
I can’t put my finger on why this is one of my favorite words, but I enjoy using the word quite a bit. Probably easier (and more polite) to use the verb form, though I have been known to call an unruly child spawn on a rare occasion.
10. Progeny n. ~ a descendant or offspring; outcome; issue.
The vampire’s progeny ravaged the population.
I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this word was in the movie Van Helsing. Using this word makes me smile. It probably shouldn’t but it does. Both spawn and progeny appear regularly in my vocabulary and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.
For all of these words, I used dictionary.com to help make sure I got all the parts of speech and definitions right. Again, this is a small slice of my favorite words. After making this list, I realize I have a flair of words that sound slightly old-fashioned.
Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite words are.
Thanks for popping in!
2 thoughts on “Bookish Verbage”
A delightful post. It’s always wonderful to meet another word lover. I like all your choices and your reasons given. Perhaps you could continue this idea every so often in your blog. Nice job with this.
I think that’s a great idea, Mary! I’ll definitely be returning to this topic in the future because it was a blast to write. Possibly a monthly feature?