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


  • 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!


  • 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!


  • RACECAR. I have thing for palindromes. Wait. Can I change my answer? Maybe “palindrome” is my favorite word.

  • 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!

  • I don’t believe it’s a real word, but my favourite is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, the title of a song in the film “Mary Poppins”!

  • 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


  • My favourite word is ‘chocolate’. Although pronunciation is different; spelling, taste and smell are the same in both English and my mother tongue!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • My favourite word is “HUMONGOUS”because I think the way it sounds already expresses what it means!

  • 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.

  • 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..

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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! =)

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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).

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Well, it’s difficult to think of just one word in English but I really appreciate the word “butterfly”, it sounds so nice!

  • 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’.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Well, my favourite word in English is ‘eternity’ … i cant help using it in almost all sentences … !!!.

  • My favourite English word is “EXAGGERATE”. I love its sound. I feel there is exaggeration in its pronunciation. Or am I exaggerating?

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