I love words. When I write, they are like little treasures to me. Sometimes, I find them with hardly a search, and other times they are buried so deep, no amount of digging will uncover the prized and perfect word for which I search.
To me, some words seem to define themselves just by the how they sound when I say them. They elicit an image or a feeling simply by the way their syllables spring forth.
Here are a few of my favorites:
AZURE – az·ure
1. of or having a light, purplish shade of blue, like that of a clear and unclouded sky.
When I hear the word “azure” I am immediately taken to the bluest ocean. I can smell the sea breeze, hear the seagulls crying above me as I feel the sand between my toes.
BLOVIATE – blo·vi·ate
1. to speak pompously.
Maybe it’s the beginning of the word – BLO – that told me what this word meant before I even knew the definition. But, it’s one of my favorite words. It perfectly defines the communication style of too many in the media these days, and the “bloviating style” has trickled down to many of us.
SOUR – sour
1. having an acid taste, resembling that of vinegar, lemon juice, etc.; tart.
I can taste “sour” at the sound of this word. I’ve heard it’s one of the worst things you can say to an opera singer, because it causes the back of throat to tingle and close up – do you feel it?
MEANDER – me·an·der
1. to proceed by or take a winding or indirect course.
This is a rather boring definition of a word that elicits feelings of happy-go-lucky wandering and adventure. As soon as I hear the word, I think of a stream, winding through the mountains. Or a tree-lined path, speckled with sunlight.
And now, here is a word that DOES NOT bring to mind what it defines. Instead, its sound makes me think of an infected wound.
CREPUSCULAR – cre·pus·cu·lar
1. of, pertaining to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct.
I could continue to list more of my favorites, but for now, I think I’ll meander through the woods to enjoy watching the crepuscular sky turn to azure blue. Instead of turning on the news to hear bloviating commentators that often leave me with a sour taste, I’ll listen to birds sing.
Listen for words to see what feelings they bring out in you. I hope you’ll share some them!
Note: All above definitions were found at:
I like this… how about salubrious – Conducive or favorable to health or well-being – one of Hayden's favorites which he applies to almost any pleasant situation. Or another interesting though distasteful word – schadenfreude – pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others – leave it to the German language (meaning their vocabulary consists of over nine million words and word groups vs. the English language which consists of around one million) to come up with a word to describe such an acrid (there's another one) sentiment.
Meander comes from the name of a river in what is now Turkey. The river, as you'd expect, takes a winding route to the sea.
Thanks for the new words, Anonymous! I like schadenfreude – a new word I could use, if I can remember how to spell it. :-)And thanks, Greg, for the history on one of my favorite words! I'll have to google that river.
Azure and meander are my two favorites of that list, Jan. They all evoke such vivid imagery though, great list!
Madison, just thinking "azure" takes me away to calming places, where I can smell the sea in cool breezes! Thanks for the comment!
One of my favorites is sobriquet, which mean nickname. The first time I heard it was in the Warren Zevon song about Elvis entitled "Porcelain Monkey" (written after visiting Graceland).
My father-in-law was appalled at the English pronounciation of the name of the Spanish explorer (and Atlanta street), Ponce de León. It should be, he used to rail, "Pan Sa Deh Leh Ohn." He was right: it's more fun to say in Spanish. Try it.
You're right, ed_quixote. It's much more fun to say that Spanish explorer's name the right way. And, for some reason, it makes me hungry. 🙂
Russell, you're going to have to tell me how to pronounce that one!
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