Favorite words

10

Mar

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I have a slight problem. My two favorite words aren’t ones I get to use very often. One isn’t exactly “nice.”

Philology.

Genitalia.

The first: “the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages.” The second, well, you probably already know.

What do you do with words like these? My pleasure in them has nothing to do with their definitions. If you didn’t know what they meant, you might name your dogs after them. Though you’d probably shorten them to “Phil” and “Genny”, which defeats the purpose of having an excuse to use words you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to use.

Why are they my favorite words? Just say them. See how your mouth has to move? Maybe it’s the L’s. Maybe it’s their polysyllabism (also a pretty awesome word, also with the L’s, and a little plosive P and B thrown in, but it really makes you work).

Maybe they aren’t even my favorite words, just my favorite words to say. I am also obsessed with words that are actual physical things that we’ve made into metaphors. Like “pitfall”. That’s a real thing, a trap people would make to catch things unaware. Or “sidetrack”, because trains are literally put on a side track to let another, more important, train move along the main track.

And don’t get me started on kennings.

Can you tell words make me giddy?

So, how about you? What are your favorite words?

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