I thought I’d start an alphabetical thread for word fans, similar to the counting thread. I suggest two rules:
Post a word that you like, for whatever reason. A definition might help, or just say why you like it. Maybe it helps you win Scrabble games? Maybe it perfectly expresses something? Maybe you just like the sound!
Words must be in alphabetical order.
Antidisestablishmentarianism: Many people have this as their favourite long, yet pronounceable, word.
Meaning: Support for a government-supported state church, such as the Church of England or Church of Denmark, in the face of opposition to continuing to have ties between the state and the church (“disestablishing” those churches).
I must admit that I misunderstood this term and thought it had something to do with Henry VIII and the Catholic Church, when in fact it is a much more modern issue for some countries (including the UK) that do not have separation of church and state.
Billowing: this word just pleases me, I don’t know why
I like that word too!
calamity, an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
I learnt that word from the opening of The Nightmare Before Christmas when I was a kid.
“But once, a calamity ever so great occurred
When two holidays met by mistake.”
Defenestration: the act of throwing someone out of a window. From fenestra, Latin for ‘window’, and de, ‘down from’.
The word was coined related to the two famous incidents in Prague, the first in 1419 and the second in 1618, with both leading to long wars.
The act itself, though, has been recorded to have happened much earlier and has been listed in the Bible as well, as what happened to Jezebel.
Ecdemomania, a compulsion to go outside or to travel
Ecdemo- means away from home (Greek)
-mania means obsession
Eunoia is the shortest word in English that uses all 5 vowels. It means “a feeling of goodwill”, particularly good will between a speaker and their audience.
In 2001, a book of poems called Eunoia was published, and became a surprise best seller (for a book of poems, anyway). Each poem used only one vowel.
A few years later, the author was my daughter’s English prof.
But mostly, I just like the sound of the word, which is pronounced yew-noy-a.
Ficklampa is the Swedish word for a torch light, literally meaning pocket light.
Not really that exciting, you’d think.
Germans are usually shocked (and secretly love the word) because it sounds like “fuck lamp” (Ficklampe) to them
Just come alphabetically afterward, I suggested. As for non-English words, why not! I loved ficklampa! To me, it suggests “flick lamp”, a small light you can flick on and off.
Oh, I might have opened a can of worms with my Swedish word.
Personally, I would find non-English words just as interesting if there’s a little story/anecdote with it, not only X is the Y word for Z.
Nah, it’s cool, I just wanted to have “official” word on whether non-English words are acceptable
Here, have another non-English one.
Formaggio – Italian for cheese and aside from it being a very pretty word (which, to be honest, is true for most Italian words) I chose this because cheese has a very prominent place in classic Italian cuisine.
Not to be confused with gentile, it means polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way.
Hagridden - tormented, harassed or worried / overburdened by fear or dread
A hag is a witch, or an old nasty woman.
I strongly assume that this expression was inspired from a creature from the Germanic folklore, the mare. A mare was a female cat-like creature of the night, who sat on sleeping people’s chests, inducing a feeling of suffocation, confinement and fear.
The Danish word mareridt (mare ride) and Swedish mardröm (mare dream) would translate to nightmare
Icicles can pose personal and structural dangers.
Komatik - an Inuit sled made by pegging and lashing together the pieces, rather than nailing them.
I was reminded of this word when it popped up in a recent news article: 1500 km snowmobile trip
A week later, we have this story: Transglobal expedition team spent fearful night on thin ice after losing Ford F-150 | CBC News — Nobody on this outing thought that maybe, just maybe, the ice thickness would change in five days.
Latrinalia graffiti found in restrooms.
Liquid. Saying it is like fluid lapping in the mouth.
Malt - Germinated barley or wheat used for brewing beer. Then sometimes that beer is made into whisky!