Filed under Words I like the sound of


If there was ever a word that sounded like what it means, that word is gobbledygook. As in, “I have no idea what he said; it was all gobbledygook to me.” From Merriam-Webster we know it means, “speech or writing that is complicated and difficult to understand”. Also, “wordy and generally unintelligible jargon”. I’ll bet … Continue reading


While listening to NPR today, a foreign reporter used the word fortnight. And I thought, ah now there’s a good word. Fortnight. Most likely I first heard the word while reading Shakespeare in the 8th grade (did we start Shakespeare in the 8th grade?) The Online Etymology Dictionary tells us it’s from the 17th century, … Continue reading


I saw this word, tentacular while reading “The House I Loved” by Tatiana de Rosnay for book club. She refers to the streets of Paris having become, “gigantic, tentacular!” I immediately knew what that meant and formed a vivid mental image. This is the joy of effective word choice. The book itself received a lukewarm … Continue reading


Shenanigans. A word you can’t say without smiling or smirking. Well, I can’t, anyway. And I’m more than a little amused that in researching this word I found it was a children’s television program that ran from September 26, 1964 to March 20, 1965, and again from September 25 to December 18, 1965. This amuses me as I … Continue reading


Don’t get yourself into a snit. Into a what? A snit. Isn’t it fun to say? It’s short. It makes anyone who utters it sound like they have a nasal problem. And when you say it, you almost can’t help but make a face, curling your lip, raising an eyebrow. Merriam Webster says it’s a … Continue reading


I always thought of scanty in connection with clothing. As in, she was scantily dressed in a pair of short-shorts and a halter top (I know, classy, right?) Then I came across this sentence in Henning Mankell’s, The Man from Beijing, “Information seeping out from the embattled police HQ was scanty, to say the least.” … Continue reading


This word intrigues me. I heard bespoke used recently, though I can’t recall where. It might have been while watching White Collar. If anyone embodies bespoke in a character, it’s Matt Bomer as Neil Caffrey. I’ve heard the word before, and thought it meant “classic” or “well made”. But a quick peek at Merriam-Webster tells … Continue reading


She caught his eye. His gaze locked with hers. And in an instant, he was besotted. Isn’t that a great word? It seems a fitting one for the week of Valentine’s Day. According to The Free Dictionary, besotted means, “stupefied with drink, intoxicated; infatuated, doting; foolish, muddled.” All of those are great words. I especially … Continue reading


Here’s how the conversation went at work the other day: Coworker:  What a nitwit. Me: Nitwit! Now there’s a good word. Do you say it often? Coworker: Sue, I have two teenage boys at home. Me: Got it. It’s such a fun word to say. Nitwit. I also love its synonyms: ninny, numskull, simpleton, booby, … Continue reading


How many times do you find yourself reading a novel set in the US, and a character announces, “Oh, how you vex me!” I’m going to guess the answer is…never. But find yourself reading say, an Inspector Lynley (by American Elizabeth George, who writes British mysteries like no other) and you’re likely to hear that … Continue reading