Growing up, did you ever have words that were just fun to say? And I don’t mean the bad ones that got your mouth washed out with soap. Do you have some now? Here are a few of mine.
Loquacious: Whenever I was in one of those exercises where you tell everyone your name and pair it with a word that describes you, I always picked loquacious because, well, I talk a lot, and it was just fun to say with the way it rolls off the tongue: Loquacious Laura.
Fascinating: Spock said it. It’s as simple as that.
Facetious: My dad used this word a lot while I was growing up. He was the only one I knew who did, and so it became a fun Dad Word and now one I use with a fond smile.
Surreptitious: I learned this word from Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson. Hank, the ranch dog, who narrates the stories and gets himself into all sorts of hilarious trouble, makes up a lot of words when relating his adventures on and off the ranch. At first, I wasn’t sure if surreptitious was a real word. After all, as a child, it sounded a lot like Hank was playing with the concept of syrup being slow and, at ten I could imagine, sneaky. As an adult, I’m glad to know the word is real.
Usurp: I learned this one in eighth grade. It was a vocabulary word. I don’t know quite what about it stuck with me. Perhaps it was because my teacher described someone usurping the position of a king to explain the word’s meaning, and that sounded cool and violent and fantasy-like to me.
Gloaming: I discovered this word in The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany. It sounded magical, and after reading it for the sixth time or so, I finally looked it up. Twilight, which is another word I like because of its ethereal and glorious connotations, was still fun, but gloaming just had a more mystical, something special sound to it. Being a fan of fae, werewolves, and other such fantastic creatures, that time between day and night, that magical veil that hovers, almost as if frozen between moments, has always been special to me.
And one last one, more for humor than that I love the word: circumcision: (Sorry if I made anyone wince.) The reason this one is special is because of the story behind how I discovered its meaning. I was eleven or twelve and at the grocery store with my mom. In the middle of the aisle, innocently with no regard for place or time or volume, I asked her what it meant. Her response was a shocked, “Laura! Where did you hear that!” My answer, “The bible.” There’s little more a mom can say at that point other than to tactfully explain. You can learn all sorts of interesting, tabooish words from the bible.
What are some of your favorite words?