Top 10 Tuesdays: Favourite Words

This week’s prompt is definitely an unusual one! Although I’ve always loved learning new words and playing word games, I don’t know if I’d necessarily say I have specific favourites. I definitely have words that I hate (“guesstimate”, for example), but it took a while to think of words that I love instead. I think a part of why it’s hard for me to think of favourites is because I pick up new words fairly easily. When I was in first grade, my teacher let me choose my own spelling words because the ones the class was doing were way too easy for me. I specifically remember choosing “condominium” as one of my words because it was so fun to say! In seventh grade, I was given vocabulary booklets instead of whatever spelling work everyone else was doing, and they were literally my favourite assignments I’ve ever had! They were booklets with a bunch of new words with definitions, and then activities to practice using them properly, like matching games, writing sentences, etc. I also absolutely loved reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and the way the author wove new vocabulary in there, often providing the definition with context cues instead of a literal explanation. Words have always come pretty naturally to me, so it’s really hard to decide which are my favourite!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. Word: Defenestrate
Definition: throw (someone) out of a window.
Reason: I’ve always found it absolutely hilarious that this came up often enough that it needed it’s own word. It really doesn’t seem like it should be such a common thing.

2. Word: Insidious
Definition: harmful but enticing, or having a gradual and cumulative effect
Reason: This is one of those words that I think matches it’s definition perfectly (especially the first definition I’ve listed). It’s the kind of word where I think you could easily figure out the meaning just by hearing it, even if you didn’t know it already.

3. Word: Silhouette
Definition: the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background
Reason: I just love the way this word sounds, although it annoys me that I can never spell it correctly on the first try!

4. Word: Pernicious
Definition: causing insidious harm or ruin
Reason: I guess it’s cheating to choose this since it’s basically the same as insidious, but this word is not used nearly enough. I like the way it sounds, although it always reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (“vermicious knid”)

5. Word: Inordinate
Definition: not within proper or reasonable limits
Reason: This is one that I picked up from Lemony Snicket, and I’m not even sure why I like it so much. It’s a word that has stuck with me ever since reading that book (the fourth in the series), even though I rarely hear it used.

6. Word: Hurdy-gurdy
Definition: a barrel organ or similar musical instrument played by turning a crank
Reason: This is probably a weird choice, but I’ve always found this word hilarious! I used to have a computer game that talked about different instruments from around the world, and this one and the didgeridoo were my favourites because their names were so fun

7. Word: Goblin
Definition: A grotesque sprite or elf that is mischievous or malicious toward people
Reason: I’ve always found this word so fun to say! It definitely makes me think of creatures that are cuter and friendlier than the definition intends though. I like “gremlin” too but it seemed repetitive to include both separately.

8. Word: Duplicitous
Definition: marked or characterized by duplicity
Reason: It probably would have made more sense to choose duplicity, but I like the adjective version a little better. I’m realizing now I like this word and “insidious” because they were both mentioned in one of my favourite episodes of The New Addams Family to describe a character. I was around 8 when I first heard them, and loved the way they sounded

9. Word: Ensorcell
Definition: bewitched or under the spell of someone or something
Reason: I only found out this word even existed within the past couple of years! I guess it makes sense to have a verb form of sorcery, but for some reason, this wasn’t what I would have expected it to be

10. Word: Brouhaha
Definition: an uproar or noisy and overexcited response to something
Reason: I’ve always thought this word just sounds fake. It doesn’t sound like it should be a real word, but somehow it is! I like it because it sounds so funny.

And on the other hand, one word that’s always bothered me: hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, which means “the fear of long words.” That just seems cruel!


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