What’s your favourite English word?

Posted by on May 26, 2010

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.

Comments (95)
  • My favourite word is “enthusiasm” which when translated from Greek means something like to be filled with Spirit (or God) – though I’m not religious I can’t help but notice that there’s a sort of light that shines out of people when they’re enthusiastic about something they’re doing… so that’s my favourite word!

    Karenne

    Posted by Karenne Sylvester on 27th May, 2010
  • I fully agree with Karenne, “enthusiasm” would have been my first choice too, for exactly the same reasons; so I have nothing to add… apart from my second-favourite word, ie “to choose”, first, because I highly cherish the freedom of choice, second, because from my point of view it provides a nice entry into pointing out likenesses and differences between, and the common origin of English and German to my students (choose < OE ceosan rel. to obs. Germ. "(er)kiesen" hence "küren, Kür, Kurfürst" due to rhotacism)… so here's another favourite one: choose!

    Lutz

    Posted by Lutz Struckmeier on 15th July, 2010
  • RACECAR. I have thing for palindromes. Wait. Can I change my answer? Maybe “palindrome” is my favorite word.

    Posted by Gretchen on 16th July, 2010
  • My favourite is PREPOSTEROUS, firstly for the pronunciation of it and how amusing it sounds especially when the Brits utter it. Its meaning is also impacting; you need say nothing more than the word to get your point across.

    That sounds preposterous!

    Posted by Stephan Hughes on 19th August, 2010
  • my favourite word is UNJUSTIFIABLE. it sounds great!

    Posted by Josefina on 24th August, 2010
  • I don’t believe it’s a real word, but my favourite is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, the title of a song in the film “Mary Poppins”!

    Posted by Ana Evans on 24th August, 2010
  • I’ve never thought about that before but I guess it’s environment. When I was a student it was so difficult to pronounce it that when I finally learned I never forgot :)
    And I don’t know if it makes any sense but nowadays I’m really concerned about the environment lol

    Robbie

    Posted by Roberta Ramos on 25th August, 2010
  • My favourite word is ‘chocolate’. Although pronunciation is different; spelling, taste and smell are the same in both English and my mother tongue!

    Posted by Tania Faria on 25th August, 2010
  • The best word ever is ‘love’, cuz is all you got and all you need! hahaha ♥

    Posted by Ana Carolina Dalcolmo on 26th August, 2010
  • Our favourite word in the English language is “cherish”. It conveys a positive mood which has to do with feelings. It tells us of care and tenderness.

    Posted by Maria do Céu Costa on 31st August, 2010
  • My favorite word is “Burgundy”. I remember learning it in an English class and loving the sound of it and the colour itself. I love Burgundy subconsciously too. It’s one of those words people rarely use, but when I used it at first, it was on my mind for a long time.

    Posted by Déborah Ramos on 1st September, 2010
  • My favourite word is “HUMONGOUS”because I think the way it sounds already expresses what it means!

    Posted by Ricardo Razo on 6th September, 2010
  • Hey Ricardo,

    You’re absolutely right about the word HUMONGOUS; in fact, it sounds like an invented word and when I hear it I think of something big and clumsy, a juggernaut.

    Posted by Steohan Hughes on 7th September, 2010
  • i think my favourite should be lackadaisical because it sounds right and makes a lot of sense

    Posted by bola on 10th September, 2010
  • My favourite word is definitely exquisite. I just love that word, and it’s one of those words we hardly ever use. – And that my friend is a shame. :)

    The word is simply exquisite. ;)

    Just for the record, enthusiasm is a great word too..

    Posted by Maja Kirkegaard on 28th September, 2010
  • My favourite word is ‘enjoy’ because I don’t have an exact equivalent in my language but I need it all the time. In English you can enjoy anything: I enjoy going on holiday, I enjoy learning English, I enjoy watching a film… In my language I can like something, love something or have fun doing something. I can’t enjoy something, which is annoying, because I do!!!

    Posted by Martina on 30th September, 2010
  • ADORE is my favourite

    Posted by VIctoria on 4th October, 2010
  • It´s quite tough to choose only one…. I´ll go for “crisps”

    Posted by Solange on 6th October, 2010
  • STATUESQUE meaning “Attractively tall and dignified”

    Posted by Learning a Language on 11th October, 2010
  • NOTWITHSTANDING.

    cannot explain..

    Posted by Marthe on 14th October, 2010
  • Sea anemone: it’s a cute word

    Posted by jaja on 15th October, 2010
  • My favourite word is RENDEZVOUS.

    Posted by Gayatri on 21st October, 2010
  • My favourite word is “Constellation” because it sounds very delicate yet impressive!

    Posted by Angela on 26th October, 2010
  • My two favourite English words are:
    THWARTED: I like its sound and I like to pronounce it, feeling the tongue jumping from the the front teeth back and then hitting the palate.
    OMBUDSMAN: I like the concept of having a specific word for somebody that deals with complaints. It’s so English.
    SHENANIGANS and LACKADAISICAL are also good ones.

    Posted by Andrea Orsi on 31st October, 2010
  • And I love all of them, each and every word of that fabulous language!

    Posted by Yuri on 3rd November, 2010
  • Flexibility is my favourite English word. I love how it sounds and I like what it means. Being flexible sometimes helps to solve so many conflict situations. To be flexible is not the same as to adapt or to adjust, it carries more positive connotation for me. While pronouncing “flexibility” I can hear the sound of swaying bamboo, bending under the wind, bending but not broken. I wish I could be more flexible sometimes, as being flexible allows to stay unbroken! :0)

    Posted by Julija on 13th November, 2010
  • My favourite English word is “flibbertigibbet” because it sounds good and also has an expansive history, used by Shakespeare in King Lear and taken from Samuel Harsnett, the meaning has changed over time but it is still in modern usage and long may it last! =)

    Posted by Paul Trouth on 15th November, 2010
  • My favorite word is “hyperactive”. I love how it sounds and the its impact on me when I hear it :)

    Posted by Engy Samir on 18th November, 2010
  • It has to be “notwithstanding” as it aggravates me and I like words that annoy!

    Posted by Meg Walsh on 18th November, 2010
  • Mine is “pleasure” because I think it sounds like what it means, especially if pronounced slowly.
    =)

    Posted by Ronaldo on 19th November, 2010
  • My favorite English word is whisper.
    It is so attractive to me…

    Posted by Li on 20th November, 2010
  • I guess it’s flip-flop, to me it sounds funny, especially when pronounced fast.

    Posted by Mary on 23rd November, 2010
  • Actually I never thought about my favourite english word, but I think it’s “toddler”, because in a way it fits wonderful in the description of these young children, who just started walking.

    Posted by Suzan on 24th November, 2010
  • My favorite words are slut and galore: slut just for the sound of it and definitely not the meaning, but for galore I like both…

    Posted by milady on 26th November, 2010
  • A note to Milady on “galore”: this comes from Irish (one of a small number of Irish words that have found their way into English). In Irish “go leor” means something like “in abundance”. It’s also one of those unusual postpositive adjectives (the ones that come straight after the noun) like “apparent” (as in heir apparent) or “elect” (as in President elect).

    Posted by Michael Rundell on 26th November, 2010
  • I just adore the word “speechless”………does’t sound wonderful ???
    And I also adore Michael Jackson’s song “Speechlees ” ’cause I’m one of his biggest fans..
    Long Live The King

    Posted by mirela on 30th November, 2010
  • I just love the word “Schmuck”… ya i know i sound weird, but love doesn’t follow any logic … so is the case with my love for this word.

    Posted by Viqar on 1st December, 2010
  • Well, it’s difficult to think of just one word in English but I really appreciate the word “butterfly”, it sounds so nice!

    Posted by Zell Martins on 7th December, 2010
  • Butterfly is a lovely one, and if you mix up the letters a little, you get a word that describes what this insect does…’flutter by’.

    Posted by b.penfold on 8th December, 2010
  • fiancée : )

    Posted by Sabina on 8th December, 2010
  • my favourite is ‘dilemma’ it sounds nice but its meaning is complicated

    Posted by sema avci on 8th December, 2010
  • My favorite one is “milk”. It sounds so soft ad sweet ;)

    Posted by Ana-Dee on 12th December, 2010
  • I’ve got two favorite English words: PIGLET – it’s quick, funny and touching like a piglet itself and LILY OF THE VALLEY – tender, delicate, fresh.

    Posted by Galina on 14th December, 2010
  • I have two favorite words; ‘exuberant’, ‘embrace’, this gives us ‘tender, lovable and positive mood’, that sounds attractive to me, especially its approximant sound; [igzjúːbərənt] and it also bring up the image of peonies,having been IN full bloom, in the Spring before last.

    Posted by EileenH on 19th December, 2010
  • My favourite would have to be ‘serililimous’ which means something which sounds graceful, beautiful and which that flows. If you look it up, you won’t find it, because I made it up to describe a poem my friend wrote. But I think it sounds nice nonetheless.

    And also:
    qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm, the semantics of which explain someone who is bored at school because their school has blocked all games and good websites.

    Posted by sange on 19th December, 2010
  • I also like the word ‘whisper’. You already feel somewhere else when you hear the word.A whole world opens up to you full of fantastic images.

    Posted by catherine guionnet on 22nd December, 2010
  • SENSUALITY because you feel sexy just saying it ;-)

    Posted by Shauna Rae on 27th December, 2010
  • My favourite word in English is “CUTE”. It sound very sweet, and as it is so short
    gives me the impression of touching something delicate.

    Posted by Connie on 11th January, 2011
  • Well, my favourite word in English is ‘eternity’ … i cant help using it in almost all sentences … !!!.

    Posted by Shanat on 14th January, 2011
  • My favourite English word is “EXAGGERATE”. I love its sound. I feel there is exaggeration in its pronunciation. Or am I exaggerating?

    Posted by Effie on 16th January, 2011
  • UMBRELLA is my favorite words. It is a strong word besides loving its sound.

    Posted by Ivone Gravina on 18th January, 2011
  • Exquisite is my favorite word….

    Posted by Beqa Kirtava on 21st January, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Radia on 22nd January, 2011
  • 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”

    Posted by hasmida hamza on 28th January, 2011
  • MY favorite word is wherever, because it sounds good…
    Fabiola

    Posted by Fabiola on 31st January, 2011
  • My favorite is SOURCE… =]
    It just sounds very nice and the meaning is great!

    Posted by TBruno Lima on 6th February, 2011
  • My favourite word is APPRECIATE…

    Posted by Eszter Gottschall on 7th February, 2011
  • My favorite word is zucchini ^^ It sounds great !!!!

    Posted by Zoé on 9th February, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Julia García on 9th February, 2011
  • My favorite word is resplendent. It sounds as grand as the sun

    Posted by Raji on 12th February, 2011
  • my favorite words are serenity mmm..and serendipity…oh and sentinel…
    I love the way they sssound :)

    Posted by Sandra on 16th February, 2011
  • ‘Indigo” is great – it manages to sound both cozy and dangerous.

    Posted by Lorraine on 9th March, 2011
  • 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!

    Posted by Wee on 12th March, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Lingi on 15th March, 2011
  • 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 ;-)

    Posted by Petra Pointner on 16th March, 2011
  • My favorite English word is “perhaps” I like to pronounce it and the sound when someone else pronounce it.

    Posted by Rosalba Victoria on 24th March, 2011
  • My favourite English word is “LOVE”…….. :)

    Posted by simone on 23rd May, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Nora Petruccelli on 24th May, 2011
  • “payday”.. no seriously.. well half-seriously “acquiese” or “lascivious” ;)

    Posted by Dominic on 25th May, 2011
  • that should be “acquiesce”.. can’t spell so why do I teach English??

    Posted by Dominic on 25th May, 2011
  • My favorite English word is “twilight” because it asociates with two lovely things bird twitting and day light )

    Posted by Tatiana Sokolova on 28th May, 2011
  • 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”.

    Posted by gabi garcía-teruel on 1st June, 2011
  • hey guys what do you think of..

    UBIQUITOUS?

    i think it’s cool.

    Posted by Desiree on 27th June, 2011
  • My favourite is LOVELY…. it has a very nice pronuciation with my Slovak accent.

    Posted by adriana on 5th July, 2011
  • 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!

    Posted by Halle on 4th August, 2011
  • Kerfuffle

    Posted by Michael LaRocca on 10th August, 2011
  • My favorite word is OBLIVION. It sound magical and it evokes the sea and the mountains.

    Posted by Paola Arlotta on 13th August, 2011
  • i love to use PLEASURE in my sentences :)

    Posted by Volkan Basol on 18th August, 2011
  • 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!

    Posted by Clo on 23rd August, 2011
  • “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” !!!

    Posted by helen on 29th August, 2011
  • 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

    Posted by Claudio Silva on 5th September, 2011
  • My favorite word in English is ‘knowledge’, because I think sounds good! HAHAHA’

    Posted by Thamires on 15th September, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Iara on 26th September, 2011
  • “tangerine ” because it sounds as it tastes:sour and sweet

    Posted by Marisol on 25th October, 2011
  • My favourite English word is “candy” because is sweet

    Posted by Lore on 27th October, 2011
  • 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!!

    Posted by Alice on 9th November, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by Jon Sumner on 16th November, 2011
  • 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.

    Posted by AnWulf on 27th November, 2011
  • My favorite English word is “TOUCH”. It sounds great!!!

    Posted by Iara Maria Soares on 24th January, 2012
  • my best word is WEIRD. I love the pronunciation

    Posted by Oyo Samuel on 16th April, 2012
  • i like to us the word ‘SIBLINGS because it sounds very good when we use it instead saying brothers and sisters

    Posted by ayub shaik on 19th July, 2012
  • My favourite word is awkward. Maybe because of its structure.I really love to use it everyday ! :D :) )))

    Posted by David on 26th February, 2013
  • My favourite word is “super”. It is easily recognized and frequently used by almost everybody!

    Posted by Marianna Martini on 27th February, 2013
  • 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)…

    Posted by Cindy on 16th July, 2013
  • my favorite word in English is : AWESOME . and i use it a lot

    Posted by Elahe on 21st July, 2013
Leave a Comment
* Required Fields Notify me of follow-up comments via email