Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Most Beautiful Words

Think fast: What is your favorite word? 

What makes that word, out of the three quarters of a million English words, your absolute favorite?  Is it the definition or the sound or perhaps a memory? 
I have a plethora of most desired and quintessential words, but I think my all time favorite word is “cake”! 
“Cake?” You ask.  Sure, and let me tell you why.  First, say it aloud, now, don’t rush through it!  Take a deep breath and when you exhale, say, “cake.”   For me, it’s the hard c and k sounds frosted with the soft and romantic “a” in the middle.  I love the sound of it.  But, there’s more.  Cake is a good word; nothing bad can come from cake.  Cake brings memories of parties, celebrations, and sweet aromas wafting in the kitchen.  Not to mention that they’re topped with a delicious light and fluffy icing that seduces your tongue and washes away any lingering feelings of remorse or sadness.  Cake is the embodiment of happiness.
I found this list of the 100 Most Beautiful Words in English, unfortunately, “cake” is not on the list, and neither are addled, malarky, or muse.  However, some of my other favorites are, including (and who doesn’t like this one?): onomatopoeia.  One of the best words ever!  (In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve used some of my favorite words above and painted them in red font.)
Take a look at the list and let me know what you think!  Also, I’d love to hear what your favorite word is and why!  Happy reading and writing!
(The following list was created by Dr. Robert Beard, a connoisseur of dictionaries and word lists.)
1.       Ailurophile
2.       Assemblage
3.       Becoming
4.       Beleaguer
5.       Brood
6.       Bucolic
7.       Bungalow
8.       Chatoyant
9.       Comely
10.   Conflate
11.   Cynosure
12.   Dalliance
13.   Demesne
14.   Demure
15.   Denouement
16.   Desuetude
17.   Desultory
18.   Dissemble
19.   Dulcet
20.   Ebullience
21.   Effervescent
22.   Efflorescence
23.   Elision
24.   Elixir
25.   Eloquence
26.   Embrocation
27.   Emollient
28.   Ephemeral
29.   Epiphany
30.   Erstwhile
31.   Ethereal
32.   Evanescent
33.   Evocative
34.   Fethching
35.   Felicity
36.   Forbearance
37.   Fugacious
38.   Furtive
39.   Gambol
40.   Glamour
41.   Halcyon
42.   Harbinger
43.   Imbrication
44.   Imbroglio
45.   Imbue
46.   Incipient
47.   Ineffable
48.   Ingénue
49.   Inglenook
50.   Insouciance
51.   Inure
52.   Labyrinthine
53.   Lagniappe
54.   Lagoon
55.   Languor
56.   Lassitude
57.   Leisure
58.   Lilt
59.   Lissome
60. f  Lithe
61.   Love
62.   Mellifluous
63.   Moiety
64.   Mondegreen
65.   Mumurous
66.   Nemesis
67.   Offing
68.   Onomatopoeia
69.   Opulent
70.   Palimpsest
71.   Panacea
72.   Panoply
73.   Pastiche
74.   Penumbra
75.   Petrichor
76.   Plethora
77.   Propinquity
78.   Pyrrhic
79.   Quintessential
80.   Ratatouille (I don’t know how this one counts, since it’s a French dish...)
81.   Ravel
82.   Redolent
83.   Riparian
84.   Ripple
85.   Scintilla
86.   Sempiternal
87.   Seraglio
88.   Serendipity
89.   Summery
90.   Sumptuous
91.   Surreptitious
92.   Susquehanna
93.   Susurrous
94.   Talisman
95.   Tintinnabulation
96.   Umbrella
97.   Untoward
98.   Vestigial
99.   Wherewithal
100.      Woebegone


  1. Bungalow and Onomatopoeia are definitely on my list. Bungalow...just kind of bounces, doesn't it? It conjures images of a romantic escape to a sandy beach somewhere. I also love the word "trudge" ever since I saw A Knight's Tale. It creates a very lucid image for me. In the movie, Chaucer (can't remember the actor's name) says, "To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on."

  2. Ha! I love that movie, and he's naked when he says that right? My favorite word is exquisite, becuase it's something that goes beyond beauty in definition, and has the letter x in it which is rare. And it's rare for someone, or something, to be exquisite. Art is another one, because I love art.


My trusty grammar source: