Posts Tagged ‘language’

According to poet and dictionary writer, Dr. Robert Beard, these are the 100 most beautiful words in the English language, and though I haven’t created a list of my own, I am rather fond of his (which he has turned into a book of short essays).

Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Assemblage A gathering.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious Fleeting.
Furtive Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue A naïve young woman.
Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
Inure To become jaded.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure Free time.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Propinquity An inclination.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture Waving.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

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Love, that word…

Love for the sake of love.

L’amour pour l’amour.

Once, more than once, actually, I fell in love with a boy, who was nothing in the end, except a pure representation of love.

He looked like love. He smelled like love. All the five senses were covered.

Until they weren’t.

And I was unsure why I was so keen on falling in love, with someone else, though, ostensibly, with love.
This was a realization I loved to make. And accuse others of. Especially friends that needed to dump their lovers. Or boys I didn’t really like.

“You’re not in love with me! You only want to be in love! I could be anyone!”

No one ever agreed to this on the spot. They would seem foolish if they did. Instead, they defended their position, as if to the death.

[Till death do you part.]

I never understood love that wasn’t reciprocal.

Unrequited love seems impossible, unless one of the two suddenly falls out of love. Suddenly or gradually.

Usually the latter then the former.

But, of course, what do I know? Unrequited love is what poetry is all about. Or at least pop music. But still, usually it’s not unrequited, it’s on the brink of discovery.

Sex dangling like the sword of Damocles, which it always does.


But love, that word…

Love is a whore, a word that gets passed around without as much as an afterthought. A word that is said only to be heard.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I saw a father with his two children approach their apartment door. All of these facts are assumptions until the daughter stops and rings the buzzer. When I walk past I hear the intercom speak: “And?”

“And I love you.”


“I love you.”


The son approaches. “I love you!” He’s enthusiastic.


“And I love you,” both her kids say in unison. I think the little boy is laughing.

“And Father?”

Exhausted. Tired of this game. Tired of this game three weeks ago. Carrying a sack of groceries. Annoyed that he is without keys. He speaks quickly, head hung low. “I love you.”

They’re buzzed in.

None of them are allowed inside this woman’s house, within her chamber walls, unless they profess their love.

I’m not even sure she began this charade with an I-love-you herself.

Is this a sign of insecurity?

What is?


L’art pour l’amour.

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