Over on Facebook last week I asked everyone to tell us what their favourite word is, and as always you answered enthusiastically. As a bit of a word nerd myself, I have so many words that I love to roll off my tongue it’s hard to choose. My own selection was quixotic, a word I came across long before I’d heard of Don Quixote, and the adjustment in pronunciation fascinates me now I know the history of the word. However, it’s so difficult to pick one, I like floccinaucinihilipilification since I learned it when I was 8, and I particularly like the way daffodil steps down one’s tongue in the same way that Humbert turns over Lo-li-ta in the famous quote from the book.
The BBC did a survey a few years ago to find the nation’s favourite word and the winner for that particular survey was serendipity. This survey was done a few years ago and I was wondering, as words come in and out of fashion, whether it would also rank highly today.
I hold the character Seren from the television show Neighbours responsible for the rise in popularity of the word serendipity, and interestingly the Oxford Dictionary holds Coronation Street responsible for the common mispronunciation of mural in the UK as ‘murial’. Anyway, I’m waxing lyrical and I’m sure you’d love to hear the top 26 words you choose as your favourite words.
(n) The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
(n) A strong feeling of affection.
(n) Silly or high-spirited behaviour; mischief.
(vb) Disconcert or confuse someone.
(n) The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle).
(adj) Present, appearing, or found everywhere.
(n) A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.
(adj)(Of a sound) pleasingly smooth and musical to hear.
Throw (someone) out of a window.
Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant.
We hope you enjoyed the top ten! There are some great words in there, and the inclusion of two simple four letter words shows that it’s not always the sound of a word that appeals, and that actually the smallest words can contain the biggest meaning.
Here’s the rest, making up our top 26 words:
Feel free to add your own favourite words in the comments and a huge thank you to everyone who joined in. Plus special thanks to oxforddictionaries.com for help with definitions.