Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Words

TTT Top Ten Tuesday The Book Wars

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we have strayed from the general theme and delved into an oldie, a goodie though! I think we may have done it before, but these kinds of lists like “Favourite Words” are ever changing. Let’s go:


Looking at my list, I didn’t really come up with crazy literary words but just words that enjoy reading. They are mostly smells . . . Definitions from (because, why make it complicated?)

  1. Coffee-a beverage consisting of a decoction or infusion of the roasted ground or crushed seeds (coffee beans) of the two-seeded fruit (coffeeberry) of certain coffee trees. I have noticed that whenever I read the word coffee I am immediately brought into a scene–be it a tense one, a comfortable one, an action one–and I find that I immediately know something personal about a character when I get to know how they prefer their hot beverages (Capt. Jean Luc Picard(Janeway too!) drank coffee, black).
  2. Cinnamon-the aromatic inner bark of any of several East Indian trees belonging tothe genus Cinnamonum, of the laurel family, especially the bark of C.zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon) used as a spice, or that of C. loureirii(Saigon cinnamon) used in medicine as a cordial and carminative. Similar reasons to coffee, I suppose (maybe I’m hungry?) but I also love cinnamon. Perhaps, this is just a placeholder for all of those wonderful smells that ground me: cardamom and bergamot, woodsmoke, and even tobacco, are all words that really settle me into the scent of a place. They are so heavy with a particular smell, I just love to read them.  
  3. Lush-(of vegetation, plants, grasses, etc.) luxuriant; succulent; tender and juicy. And Fetid-having an offensive odor; stinking. Again, these kinds of words really settle me into a place. 
  4. Cyber- and Cryo- words because they instantly bring me into science fiction. I’m thinking robots, genetic experiments and space: the final frontier. Oooh, frontier is a great word…
  5. Words created for their fiction, love them if they work. Words like thoughtcrime, if that is used again in another work, I am immediately brought to Orwell’s work and I know where the story is currently standing. Or replicant (meaning Android from Philip K. Dick) this is a fantastic sci-fi/fantasy word that is often used and really brings a chill to the ambiance of a sci-fi story. Mudblood from the Potter books is a great one too. These words belong to their worlds and they eliminate so much word garbage with just the use of one word. Writing success!


  1. Poised: I like that the word sounds like positioned, posed, and raised all at once. It brings to mind those words too and it’s fitting (I feel) that it does. It also sounds a little close to “paused”, which makes me think of someone paused in a position before exploding into action. Just reading that word gives me some tingling sense of anticipation.
  2. Hmm: I like how it isn’t really a word (more of a sound, I guess), but it can express anything from confusion to displeasure to distraction.
  3. Languish: Another word that I like because of the words it reminds me of/sounds like. The phrase “lazy anguish” comes to mind and then I chuckle to myself in public.
  4. Awful: I like the word as it is used now (to refer to something unpleasant), but I love it’s original usage to mean something awe-inspiring, or something full of awe.
  5. Any of the words used by Stephen Fry here:


I’m the veritable logophile and I am subscribed to’s “word of the day” feature so I get a new word in my mailbox every day. So it’s like Christmas when I find a new word. :D

Here are ten words I’m relatively fond of.

  1. Sophrosyne (noun): discretion, prudence, moderation
    I can see someone named Sophrosyne who did the opposite of embodying the meaning of her name.
  2. Amaranthine (adjective): everlasting, unfading.
  3. Sylvan (adjective): consisting of or associated with woods.
    Croi. And for that reason, I also like the word:
  4. Sough (noun) (also verb): the sound of the wind in the trees (usually).
  5. Luminous (adj): radiant.
  6. Phantasmagoria
    You’ll just have to look this one up yourself.
  7. Coruscate (verb): (of light) flash or sparkle
  8. Kvell (slang) (verb) (North American): feel happy and proud.
  9. Stelliferous (adj): having or abound with stars.
  10. Irenic (adj): tending to promote peace or reconciliation.


I don’t know about favourite (how could I possibly choose?) but here are some words that I linger over:

  1. Gyre: v. to whirl or gyrate; n. a spiral or vortex. The word brings to mind not only an image of seabirds circling, spiraling upward in great winged sweeps, a vast cloud of sunlight on feathers bright against a blue sky, but also the sensation of being swept up, lifted in a rising cycle of elation and intention, of soaring swift and light-hearted through the boundless air.
  2. Elate: to fill with great joy or happiness; [to make] ecstatically happy; in high spirits; exultant or proud. Elate feels heart-full, full of air, full of light. It feels buoyant without a sense of water or the possibility of sinking. It feels bright and radiant like a face turned up to the sun. It feels like motion, like skipping or dancing down a street for joy. It feels like a swift, deep, glad inhalation.
  3. Inimical: adverse, obstructive, harmful, injurious, hostile, unfriendly, unfavourable. I like how absolute inimical feels, like a blank white wall stretching upward and outward. There are no chinks in this wall that might offer footholds, there are no cracks indicating weak points. There is only an absolute, unbreachable boundary that turns you away.
  4. Inimitable: because of the poem by Anne Finch, Lady Winchilsea, as quoted by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own:

My hand delights to trace unusual things,

And deviates from the known and common way,

Nor will in fading silks compose

Faintly the inimitable rose.

8 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Words

  1. I adore this post. Words have power and beauty, and can instantly conjure up images and memories. My least favourite word? Guardian. Growing up I could never remember how to spell the bloody thing, always got the “u” and “a” mixed up. Grrrr……

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