global English language resources

What’s your favourite English word?

While enjoying the truly international feel of April’s IATEFL conference in Harrogate we also took the opportunity to ask delegates this simple question:

What’s your favourite English word and why?

Here’s a short video of some of the answers:

Tell us what your favourite word is and why by posting a comment to this post.

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Laine Redpath Cole

95 Comments

  • It’s difficult to choose only one word, for I like many words. Two words I like the most are: satisfied & complacent, cuz my name “Radia” in my language, Arabic, means that. I like the sound of satisfied and the meaning of complacent as it means so satisfied. I also like the word courageous. Radia, Libya.

  • I like the word “sunshine” the most. Its warmth, glittering and spirituous. It shows a good start, hope and yet…lucky! I wanna be “sunshine in the rain”

  • One of my favourite word is enthusiastic (sorry, I know I’m not being very original), it took me ages to be able to pronounce it correctly! I also like outrageous and forerunner.

  • One of my favourite English words is EXTRAORDINARY! Firstly because of the pronounciation, especially when being uttered by my Brittish friends, secondly due to its meaning which is so “out of the way”! =)
    I also love the words HILLARIOUS, FABULOUS and BRILLIANT! Same too reasons!

  • Well, my favourite English word would be “bee”. I don’t know, it just sounds so cute and you instantly can imagine the sound of bees. And you might forget that they can sting, too. So yeah, that’s my favourite word.

  • I love the word ‘procrastination’ because it doesn’t exist in my mother tongue (German), because it sounds sophisticated and because I can use it to tell people in a nice way that they should get their work done 😉

  • My favorite English word is “perhaps” I like to pronounce it and the sound when someone else pronounce it.

  • My favorite word is “Serendipity” The first time I heard about this word was in a movie….I like it for its meaning and because in my mother tongue, Spanish, there is not a word that means the same.

  • “payday”.. no seriously.. well half-seriously “acquiese” or “lascivious” 😉

  • My favorite English word is “twilight” because it asociates with two lovely things bird twitting and day light )

  • I definitely love the sound of “scissors”: you can feel how paper is cut when you pronounce it. And also “Malmsey”, which reminds me of my English History lessons at university…. the Tudors always drank that wine in my teacher’s opinion. Some years later I travelled to Sicily and tasted the local variety of it… Wonderful! Finally, 2 more words: “pristine” and “gorgeous”.

  • My favourite English word is “compassion” firstly because of the meaning and also because it includes the word “passion” which is another word I love- thus I get 2 for the price of 1…it’s great-I don’t have to choose between the 2 words!

  • My favourite English word is an expression actually:” two thumbs up”;
    I like this expression because when you say it you use your fingers and body as well and usually when someone speaks he uses his whole body to communicate.
    Morevoer this expression can initiate others like: three thumbs up or ten thumbs up or two hands up etc…….that’s why I do like these words together!

  • “Ombudsman” is Swedish, “zucchini” is Italian – English is such a fabulous language – constantly adorning itself with jewels from multicultural crowns. By the way, “slut” comes from “slattern” which means a sloppy housekeeper, NOTHING to do with loose morals! My favourite word is “voluptuous”, especially as pronounced by an old Finnish friend of mine who used to say “volumptuous” !!!

  • My favorite words are all the performative verbs (promise, forbid, invite, swear, declare etc) not because of their sound but rather because of their power to convey the kind of speech act being performed.
    Claudio Silva

  • My favorite English word is definitely “procrastination”. It just sounds good and it’s a very useful word. We also have an equivalent in Spanish (procrastinar), though we don’t use it as often.

  • I hated MENAGERIE as a child. It made me itch. I see someone wrote RENDEZVOUS. This reminds me of George W, who apparently said that the French were no good in business because they didn’t have a word for ENTREPRENEUR. Well, well!!

  • I really like the word WINNINGEST which I gather is used by sports announcers in the States. In the U.K. we never use that word but it is such a funny (and useful) word!

    Also on the Simpsons they used that word EMBIGGENS, as in “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man”.

    It’s amazing how these words start off tongue in cheek but end up being used day to day.

  • I think I went thru about a 1/4 of the comments before someone said a “true” English word … one that has Anglo-Germanic roots rather than a Latinate or Greek-rooted word. That’s kind of sad.

    The one that I like the best … bedoven … means to be drenched or drowned (ppl from archaic bedive). For byspel: After walking thru the jungle, he was bedoven with sweat.

  • i like to us the word ‘SIBLINGS because it sounds very good when we use it instead saying brothers and sisters

  • My favourite word is “super”. It is easily recognized and frequently used by almost everybody!

  • My favourite word is ‘forlorn’, which I heard first in John Keat’s Ode to a Nightingale. I just love how it sounds, because it’s true, “the very word is like a bell”.
    I also like other English words such as ‘solace’ (the very sound of the word transmits softness and calm), ‘dearest’ (it sounds very tender and endearing), ‘sojourn’ (I find it graceful)…

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