Wednesday, July 27, 2011

50 most beautiful English words.

A few weeks ago I ran across a list, which I shared with you, of 33 Ways to Stay Creative. One suggestion was to read a page in the dictionary. That one stuck with me. It made me pause and think:  When was the last time I even looked up a word in a real {not online} dictionary? 

A very long time ago is the answer to that query. 

I certainly do not fancy myself a wordsmith {an expert in the use of words}, but I am interested by words, especially unused or underused words. So I did peruse a dictionary for an hour or so one day. 

Where were the kids you ask? 

I have no idea. I'm certain I told them I was "working" and to run along and play. Amazing I was able to compile such a list, right? 

So today I bring you a few of my favorite words. Some are new to me, some are just those I think are beautiful and should be used more often. 

Becoming - attractive.
Beleaguer - to exhaust with attacks.
Bucolic - in a lovely rural setting.
Conflate - to blend together.
Dalliance - a brief love affair {actually, I hope not to use this one again, but it is lovely}.
Demure - shy and reserved.
Denouement - the resolution of a mystery.
Diaphanous - filmy.
Dulcet - sweet, sugary.
Ebullience - bubbling with enthusiasm.
Effervescent - bubbly.
Efflorescence - flowering, blooming.
Elixir - a good potion.
Eloquence - beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation - rubbing on a lotion.
Ephemeral - short-lived.
Epiphany - a sudden revelation.
Erstwhile - at one time, for a time.
Evanescent - vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative - suggestive.
Felicity - pleasantness.
Fugacious - fleeting.
Gambol - to skip or leap about joyfully.
Gossamer - the finest piece of thread, a spider's silk.
Halcyon - happy, sunny, care-free.
Imbrication - overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio - an altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue - to infuse, instill.
Ineffable - unutterable, inexpressible.
Insouciance - blithe nonchalance.
Languor - listless, inactivity.
Lissome - slender and graceful.
Mellifluous - sweet sounding.
Moiety - on of two equal parts.
Nemesis - an unconquerable archenemy.
Onomatopoeia - a words that sounds like it's meaning.
Opulent - lush, luxuriant.
Panacea - a solution for all problems.
Panoply - a complete set.
Penumbra - a half shadow.
Pyrrhic - successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential - most essential.
Redolent - fragrant.
Scintilla - a spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal - eternal.
Serendipity - finding something nice while looking for something else.
Sumptuous - lush, luxurious.
Talisman - a good luck charm.
Untoward - unseemly, inappropriate.
Woebegone - sorrowful, downcast.

I'm off to gambol around with my children as we enjoy the halcyon days of summer! But first, I must go make a sumptuous guest bed for some friends visiting from Oxford {yes, England}. I hope I can locate a panoply of sheets! If not I'll rely on my normal panacea: shopping!


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