I recently came across a blog devoted to the word “moist” and how much the writer – and many others – hate this word. It brought a smile to my face as it’s a word that one of my good friends, Catryn, absolutely loves. I understand why some hate it because it tends to be used in quite a dirty context. But I have to admit, it’s a word I find quite amusing.
I have a word that I love: undulating. Don’t ask me why; it just has a gorgeous sound to it. From where we live, there are a few different routes to drive into town and one of them’s a country lane which is very undulating. My daughter loves it because it makes her belly go up and down like a rollercoaster and I love it simply because it’s undulating!
There are other words I really love too like scrumple, gargantuan, drenched and ditzy. The thing all of these words – and undulating – have in common is that they sound like the thing they describe. At first I was thinking this is onomatopoeia. (Now that’s a tricky word to spell but a beautiful word to say). But I think that’s words like splash and bang and plop which do actually make the sound of the word. I do think undulating and gargantuan sound like what they describe … but perhaps that’s because I know what they are.
I’m sure I’ll think of loads more words I love when I’ve posted this. Ooh, grimace is another one.
However, it also works in the reverse. Many of the words I hate also sound like the thing they describe: insipid, lubricate, smear. I don’t like the colours grey and taupe. Actually, I have nothing against the colours themselves; I just can’t bear their names! Such incredibly dull, boring words. And nobody can seem to pronounce the latter one; torp or toap? I have put “lol” on there in honour of my writing friend, Jo, who hates it as a phrase. For me personally, I don’t mind the phrase providing it’s not overused but I do hate it when people actually say “lol” as a word in a normal sentence. Shudder.
Returning to lovely words, I did a quick straw poll on Facebook a short while ago. My good friend Jackie responded with several corkers: mermaids, serendipity, pelagic, odyssey and zephyr. I love serendipity both as a concept and a word. Wasn’t quite enough room for it on my scrabble board! She also said “arse”. Now arse is a hilarious word which has provided Jackie, Catryn and me with hours of entertainment. Many years ago, Catryn and I were on holiday in Turkey and we invented “the arse game”. This involves finding as many words as possible with the word arse in them like gl-arse, arse-pedistra, p-arse-ly and so on. However, you do need to say the “arse” part in a Bristol or Devonshire accent. It has a far greater impact that way. We taught it to Jackie when we met her on a diving holiday and, between us, we’ve taught it to loads of people. What was hilarious was that Catryn went out to Egypt to dive one year and someone on the dive boat tried to teach it to her! It was our legacy and a proud moment. Very childish. Very funny.
Anyway, other suggestions included “strewth!” from my friend Sharon “with the emphasis on the !” I suspect she may be having a bad day. “Tibbletastic” came from my friend Karen whose surname is Tibble so I suspect she’s made that one up (although it should be a word cos it’s fabulous) and “chocolate” from my cousin Janice. Amen to that. And another friend, Carole, joined in with squidgy (love that word!) and doppelganger. Nice choices ladies 🙂 My best friend from school, Susan, suggested Timbuktu and merry-go-round. Fabulous words. And former work-colleague Sharan came up with some gems: flabbergasted, genesis, chanel (and coco!), quintessential, Mississippi and tea (as a word and a beverage). Lovely words. Thank you all for contributing.
My friend Liz said she didn’t have a favourite word but she does sign language and she had a favourite sign which is the one for “fire”. Unfortunately that’s not going to translate here but thanks for playing, Liz. My older brother, Mike, was a late-comer but he was rude. I loved one of the words he suggested but my husband looked it up. Yep, not going to put that in the post! My younger brother, Chris, suggested music and beer. I’d say that both brothers were very predictable 😉
What are your most loved and hated words and why? And if you can think of an arse word, do join in and play the game! I think we’ve exhausted them but are always excited about the possibility of discovering a new one. The gauntlet is laid down!
Photos are copyright of my talented husband, Mark Heslington and huge apologies to Mark for missing the ‘h’ out of drenched so that he had to put the board together again for me after he’d done all the photos. Oops!