My Favorite Words

While the English language is filled with thousands of descriptive words, I have found that in my writing I am drawn to a few that really make me smile.  Here are a few of my particular favs:

Rotgutnoun or adjective “poor-quality and potentially toxic alcoholic liquor.” I love this one because it is just so literal. A quick Google search shows me that there is a video game and a punk band with this moniker. That’s just awesome.

Cattywampusadjective “not lined up or not arranged correctly, or diagonally” Incidentally, this word is the origin of “kitty-corner”. Mad props to Carrie Underwood for smoothly injecting such a funky word into Choctaw County Affair.

Hardscrabbleadjective –  involving hard work and struggle. I just love the literal feel of this one. Whenever I hear it, I always picture some poor orphaned kid scraping his bare knees on cobblestones to make a living. Ironically there is actually a street not too far from me with this name. I tried (and failed) to convince the better half we should invest in property there just because of the sweet street name.

Sinewnoun “a piece of tough fibrous tissue uniting muscle to bone or bone to bone; a tendon or ligament.” Good stuff for the pages of any book. Gristle works well too!

noun  “the soft substance consisting of muscle and fat that is found between the skin and bones of an animal or a human.” Interestingly enough, there is an British verb definition – “give (a hound or hawk) a piece of the flesh of game that has been killed in order to incite it.”

Gobbetsnoun – “a piece or lump of flesh, food, or other matter.” Wow, I am starting to sense a disturbing trend here. Perhaps I’d better lay off the zombie movies for a while. I like this one because the word itself sounds completely innocent. I always picture big stinking gobbets hanging in between the T-Rex’s teeth…

Boondogglenoun – “work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value” or verb – “waste money or time on unnecessary or questionable projects.” Some of you might be thinking this page is a perfect example  of this word. First time I heard someone say this in earnest, I was in mid-gulp and I spewed diet soda across the meeting table. It’s just a goofy, fun word.

Miasma – noun“an oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere that surrounds or emanates from something.” The creepy things I tend to write about rarely smell good or subdued. Also, this is the first word that comes to mind when the wife drags me into a Yankee Candle store.

Cacaphony – noun“a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds.” The onomatopoeia of this word really floats my boat…perhaps because I am a metalhead?

Scurrilous – noun“making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation.” Slimy, sneaky and dirtballish…my kinda word!

How about you? What are your favorite go-to words in conversation or print?

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