You might have guessed it by now, but I love language and words. Most especially English words, because there are so many. I’ve seen a few posts and memes about the most beautiful English words, but I wanted to include some of my favorite beautiful-sounding words in English and in Spanish (I like a lot of Spanish words, too), but also words I love for their meaning.
Braggadocio– I remember when George H.W. Bush used this in a speech. He was tut-tutting those with braggadocio. Means boastful or arrogant. How things have changed.
Chinoiserie– beautiful sounding and I love chinoiserie! I have quite a bit of Chinese-inspired things
Clafoutis– pronounced Clah-foo-tee, it’s an fairly easy French dessert, which I like to make gluten-free and vegan with Rainier cherries
Duquesne– Once a French fort in what’s not Pittsburgh, PA, and now a university, it’s pronounced Doo-kay-nnn
Interstitial– I love the sound of this word. It’s meaning of between very small spaces is pretty cool, too.
Irrepressible– Unable to be repressed. We should all be irrepressible in spirit.
Mamihlapinatapei– A Native American word from a South American tribe. As part of a middle school English class assignment, we were tasked with finding a word we didn’t know and then doing a piece of art and presentation about that word. One girl picked fillibuster, for instance. But this word- mamihlapinatapei- I found in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the most difficult word to define succinctly (I also had to look up with succinct meant). It basically means, “a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other would initiate something that they both desire but which neither wants to begin.”
Mariposa hermosa– Alright, this one is a phrase, but it goes so well together. Spanish for beautiful butterfly. Speaks for itself, don’t you think?
Pajaro– Spanish for bird. I love the way it sounds and how my mouth feels when I say it.
Palimpsest– In the list above. Margaret Atwood uses it and I’m determined to put it somewhere in my fiction.
Susquehanna– included in the list above. I live off the Susquehanna River. A Native American (Lenape) word for Oyster River, because the Susquehanna and its tributaries are the main watershed of Chesapeake Bay.
What are some of your favorite words in English or other languages?