Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

Different Words For Different Nerds

I love words. Their sounds. Their many meanings. Their contradictions and misuse.

I enjoy learning new words. (Hence, my addiction to A-Word-A-Day) 

I certainly wouldn’t call myself a linguaphile. It’s merely a hobby.

Sometimes, I can be very literal. “Say what you mean. Mean what you say.” – a phrase I use all too often with my husband; I’m sure he’d agree. Other times, I look for hidden meanings and agendas. Sometimes I create something that isn’t there and let my imagination take flight.

The wonderful thing about words is that everyone has a favorite and for very different reasons. Different words for different nerds. That’s my motto.

Here are a few of this nerd’s favorites:

1. Marshmallow – Doesn’t it sound all soft and fluffy? I don’t even like marshmallows but I love the word. A little evidence of how tolerant I am.

2. Lethologica – The inability to remember the right word. Such a useful word. One I employ more often than I’d care to admit.

3. Onomatopoeia – I love the word and I tend to love the words it represents. Buzz, zip, click and clack. Perfect? No?

4. Hobgoblin – Sounds exactly like an impish, mischievous soul. Right? And it’s used in one of my favorite Emerson quotes: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

5. Elixir – Don’t know why I love this word. But when I describe my beloved Coca-Cola, I’ll often declare that it is “the elixir of the gods!” So, elixir stays on my list.

6. Plethora – I use this word quite a bit. So much so, that when my then 3-year-old told his grandmother that he had a plethora of toys to play with; She agreed.

7. Rumpus – “Let the wild rumpus begin!” – From what favorite children’s book? You tell me!

8. Brouhaha – A cousin to rumpus but a fun, appropriate sounding word, all the same.

9. Haricot Verts – Not an English word, but a wonderful phrase. My favorite in the French language. I just love the way it trips off my tongue, sounding so delicious and sweet, romantic and beautiful. Who knew a simple pile of green beans could sound so wonderful?

10. Skedaddle – Some say, “Hurry up!” Others say, “Chop chop!” or “Shake a leg!” Me? I’m always telling my kids, “Scoot, scoot, skedaddle!” Much more fun to say, don’t you think?

Any true  linguaphiles out there? Or hobbyists like me? Share a favorite word of yours in the comments below. I need to add to my treasure trove.

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