Words are powerful. When we write and talk we are constantly choosing and dismissing words. Very often, we love the sound of one specific word in a foreign language even though we can’t speak that language – we just love the word and can’t explain why. Sometimes I wish I could borrow words from other languages to fill a gap in my own. Needless to say, all ideas can be expressed in any language, but sometimes I just want to express a certain idea with just one word. An example of that is the German word Fernweh. It basically means longing for a place that’s not your home – like homesickness of a foreign place.
There are some English words that I simply adore, like awkward. I like the way it’s spelled and the way it sounds. I also love the word ‘serendipity’ because of its meaning and ‘defenestrate’ because it’s such a specific verb. On the same note, there are some curious words in English that I recently discovered and that don’t deserve to be forgotten in books.
Here you have my top ten*:
• gallimaufry – a heterogeneous mixture
• to transmogrify – to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect
• tintinnabulation – the ringing or sounding of bells
• hobbledehoy – an awkward, gawky adolescent
• unclubbable – unsociable
• moiety – one of two equal parts: half
• termagant – an overbearing or nagging woman
• to discombobulate – to upset, to confuse
• sesquipedalian – having many syllables, i.e. long
• to cachinnate – to laugh loudly or immoderately
Do you know any curious words you would like to share? In case you’re also a word lover, here is an article about curious words in many languages.
*all definitions taken from merriam-webster.com