Tuesday, September 13, 2011

rolling off the tongue

You never know what will come from a family dinner time conversation.  That's one of the reasons I enjoy them so much.  Last night Bug shared his favorite words with us, then made a list of the favorite words for each of us.

Bug's list:

My favorites:
papillion (French for butterfly)

CD's faves
humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaiian word for the Trigger fish)

Pook's favorites:

I thought our lists were interesting.  Bug's words were new-ish words from vocabulary lists in school, and I could see what they had in common to attract him.  Good words too; I like the sound of them.  He's been obsessing about cheese recently (don't ask; I can't explain) therefore "gorgonzola."   I pick words based on their sound too.  "Papillion" has been a favorite since middle school French class.  I was told I needed a second word and "Guatemala" was the first to roll off my tongue.  I've never thought of it as a favorite before last night, but perhaps I'll keep it around.

Pook and CD had different, or at least additional reasons for their favorites.  "Zyzzyva" is the last word in the dictionary (that Pook has investigated). It means "any of various tropical American weevils of the genus zyzzyva, often destructive to plants," just in case you care.  "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" clearly was chosen for length. "Samurai" he chose for the way it sounds.

CD liked "polysyllabic" because it describes itself, "strengths" for the greatest number of consonants making for the longest one syllable word, and "humuhumunukunukuapuaa" because, well, why not?

So, share your favorite words in the comment section.  If you have a reason for liking them, share that too.


  1. I had a poetry professor in college who swore that the most beautiful word in the English language was gonorrhea. I could never come around to it. Lugubrious is my hands down favorite, although there are many good ones.

  2. Kandahar,
    The sounds just roll, unlike harsh sounding US cities.......
    Too bad life doesn't match the sound.