Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

Favorite Words

on July 13, 2014

CrossedWords  We all have them. Words we combine with more ordinary ones to make our vocabulary unique to us.

Sometimes we pick up a word we hear from a family member or friend or a TV or radio personality. We like something about it. Could be the funny way it sounds or a memory it evokes. Maybe we learned it the hard way while doing a crossword puzzle. But we never forget it.

My favorite words are some I like the look of on a printed page. Behemoth and cacophony are two of them. I used them in Bird Face and thought they were just right for the scenes in which they appeared. In a few syllables, they describe what would otherwise have taken a phrase or entire sentence. So they’re efficient too.

Another author and critique partner of mine, Lisa, has me wanting to use a word I’ve noticed a couple of times in her writing: soporific. The opportunity may come along soon because I think Wendy would use it to describe mathematics.

Sometimes a word becomes so popular I grow tired of it. That happened with “salient.” Over a decade ago, it showed up everywhere. Then the fad died, so now I like it again.

What is a favorite word of yours and why do you like it? Do you have to make an effort to use it in writing or conversation, or does its use come naturally?




8 responses to “Favorite Words

  1. Obsequious – I discovered that word the first time I read The Robe and fell in love with it. Not too many opportunities to use it in daily conversation, sadly. 😉

    There’s a game about obscure words – Balderdash. My family used to play that game obsessively and we learned several words we added to our daily vocabulary. You wouldn’t think “Curpin” – a bird’s behind – would get used very often but you’d be surprised! In fact, years ago we had a bottom-heavy beanie-baby duck that we named Curby the Curpin and I wrote actual stories about him to the delight of my siblings. 😉 Also, “marlock” – to romp – we love that word.

    My husband likes to tease me for several of the expressions I use. “It occurred to me” is one that I apparently use almost daily and it cracks him up. Also, “as the crow flies” – he didn’t believe me that it’s a common expression. Must be a southern thing, I guess. I used to say “know what I mean” but once it was pointed out to me, I became very aware of it and felt like I was in an Ernest movie and should be tacking “Vern” on the end. So I rarely say it anymore.


  2. Wait! Did you just call my writing soporific? LOL

    I like cacophony too. Sibilant. Corpulent. Egregious. I just really, really love words.


  3. I like eclectic. As in I have decorated my home in an eclectic fashion – a nice way of saying nothing matches but I like it!

    However, I love to roll certain Spanish words over my tongue. My favorite is mariposa (butterfly), and because I’m so enthusiastic over the word, every one of my students in grades 1-8 knows that word! The other one is izquierda (left). Turns out many of my middle school students love saying that word too.


    • I thought I’d heard of Mariposa before, which a great-sounding word. It’s a city and county in California. “Butterfly,” California! How neat! I just thought of a good school project–have kids look up the foreign names of cities or counties to find their meanings.


    • lol – I hadn’t heard of the city in Cali but now I know that the Barbie butterfly fairy was aptly named. 😉


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