Words are powerful, and often both over and misused. Take the word "awesome" for example. This word is meant to describe something truly awe-inspiring, such as the creator of the universe. Instead, we often use it sarcastically, calling things awesome that are not, in fact, awesome. In daily conversation, our vocabulary is remarkably limited. The average adult English-speaker knows about 20,000-35,000 words. We speak around 16,000 words a day, and many of those are repeated words, such as the, like, or so. Now, how can we expand this vocabulary and spice up our daily conversations? Well, for one, there are plenty of websites to visit and subscriptions to join to get vocabulary words sent to you daily. However, just to start off, here are my top picks for words (and their definitions ) that we should start saying on a regular basis:
Have you ever wondered if there was a specific word for something? Petrichor is one of those words. Many people cite the pleasant aroma after rainfall as their favorite smell. Petrichor is literally the word for that smell. If you really love the smell after it rains, now you can tell people that your favorite smell is petrichor, and be regarded as a very intelligent and well-spoken person.
Do you have any enemies? Perhaps you have a wicked sibling? Well, now you can describe their natures and actions better than ever before. Nefarious is an adjective, referring to something being wicked, criminal, evil, or despicable. While all of those words are great descriptors, there's just something perfectly sinister about the word nefarious that suits people and their actions that deserve it.
A panacea is a solution or remedy to all problems. That sure sounds nice doesn't it? In "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", Toula's dad considers Windex to be the ultimate panacea.
A denouement is a conclusion, the finale, the final piece when all the loose ends are tied together. Real life, sadly, does not typically have satisfying denouements. Movies, tv shows, and books do though, and discussing our satisfaction (or lack of) at our latest entertainment's denouements are already a common conversation topic. For example, many people were not happy with the denouement of the latest season of the Bachelor.
Cattywampus (kat-ee-wom-puh s)Brush Messy Colours Color Colors Craft Motley
Now, this word was not found in the Oxford dictionary I used to define all the other words. However, it's too great to leave out, so I found it here. It's an adjective, referring to things being out of order or askew. You can refer to your life, room, or filing systems as cattywampus. It's fun to say and helps you feel better about the disorganization surrounding you.
Redolent actually has two definitions, both fitting and easy to use. It's an adjective and can mean either suggestive of, or fragrant. An example sentence would be "The room was redolent of chocolate chip cookies."
Serendipity (ser-uh n-dip-i-tee)Human Girl Person Silly Blond Making A Face Child
This word's meaning is just as fun as the word is to say! Serendipity is a noun, referring to an event or development of events by chance that were happy or beneficial. It's like a happy accident. Life is full of serendipities, and one can even use the adjective form of it! If your day turned out better in an unexpected way, you could refer to your day as "serendipitous".
Phosphenes (fos-feen s)
So, you know how when you rub your eyes you see spots of light or color? There's a word for those! They are called phosphenes. Now, you can impress your friends by using the correct word for this daily occurrence.
This word is as fun as it sounds! This is an adjective with two meanings, much like redolent. If something, like a drink, is effervescent, then it's bubbly or fizzy. If a person is effervescent, it means they are enthusiastic or vivacious.
Cynosure (Sahy-nuh-shoo r)
A cynosure is a point (whether it be a person, place, or thing) of admiration. For example, perhaps there is a star performer or actor you admire and would be a cynosure for you. The seven wonders of the world are cynosures for the adventurous traveler journeying across the world to see them.
People often use words such as huge, gigantic, or enormous. Gargantuan shares the meaning of those words and has a satisfying sound to accompany it. A rather unflattering description of the Grand Canyon would be to refer to it as a gargantuan hole in the ground. It would be unkind to refer to a person as gargantuan, but you could call someone's appetite or personality gargantuan without too much offense.
This word's meaning can be explained simply by breaking it up. Melli means honey, and flu means flow. Mellifluous is meant to refer to sounds that are sweet and smooth to listen to. A talented singer's voice is mellifluous to the ear, as is a well-played musical instrument. The cello, when played well, produces a truly mellifluous sound.
Evanescent (Ev-uh-nes-uh nt)
This word is beautiful, and in a way sad. If something is evanescent, it vanishes quickly or lasts for a very short time. A blooming flower is evanescent. In the grand scheme of things, human lives are also evanescent in nature. Happy moments are evanescent, and so must be cherished.
Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed (in either a good or bad way) that words fail us. There's a word for this. When something is beyond words, it is ineffable. So now, if you're ever at a loss for what to say, you have at least one word to start with.
Now, this word may not be used on a regular basis very easily, but it's too funny to ignore. Defenestration refers to the act of throwing someone out of a window. Sherlock is guilty of defenestration in Season 2, Episode 1. Next time your roommate irritates you, threaten them with defenestration. Their confusion will defuse the situation and maybe result in some laughter at the concept of handling problems in such a ludicrous manner.
Well, there you have it! Go enjoy the redolent petrichor after the spring rainfall, and joke about nefarious intentions with your roommate by threatening them with defenestration. I wish all of you the happiest of denouements, and I hope things don't get too cattywampus for you. Instead, may your life be filled with serendipities.