In which we’re talking about words

Every once in awhile I like to repost this just to muse on words:

Years ago I read a study which published the most popular words, chosen by sound only, not meaning. I’ve tried to compile a similar list for myself, although I’m sure a word or two has crept in there by virtue of its pleasant connotations rather than its euphonia.

Violet, leopard, thrust, deceiver, whisper, buttery, crescent, scandalous, bashful, sumptuous, cuttlefish, translucent, pastoral, tale, camellia, moose, bliss, perfume, mystery, embrocation, scarlet, bodice, luscious, ribbon, lascivious, silken, punish, mollusk, bivouac, implode, incantation, slipper, wistful, plum, glisten, nacreous, willow, shiver, eviscerate, feather, tumble, incense, velvet, mellifluous, limber, moon, invocation, stormy, mirage, blush, regime, tantalize, cassowary, plume, thistle, marshmallow, revenant, enthralled, benediction, creamy, pillow, vivacious, seduction, mist, ruminant, thunder, cupcake, moss, luminous, serpent, wander, stocking, fig, honeysuckle, sibilant, teacup, gossamer, salamander, invidious, supper, tumescent, pleasure, shimmer, enchant, odalisque, rapture, conjure, silver, hither, relucent, plangent, capture, plaintive, destrier, tempest, ocelot, aqua, fallow, mermaid, serendipitous, ponder, pluperfect, veil, siege, trebuchet, tarantella, glassine, savage, puffin, ossuary, hoplite, incandescent, bumblebee, marionette, nascent, illuminate, madrigal, lilypad, pearlescent, toadstool, escarpment, autumn, madeira, tassel, tuffet, pomander, quicksilver, epistle, parasol, picaresque, epaulette, fable, tulle, salsify, seraphim, illuminate, myth, tortoise, galleon, fortuitous, galleon, feverfew, gust, corsair, forbidden, sacred, smoky, caravan, amaranth, rosary, lush, basque, leather, mystique, voluptuous, paisley, glamour, wisteria, russet, ellipsis, glissade, chrysalis, pellucid, lucifer, invidious, oubliette, statuesque, inviting, hermitage, escapade, desire, glorious, champagne, voluminous, turret, soliloquy, violin, dulcet, phantom, alchemy, castanet, scriptorium, palanquin, wolfish, bellicose, vicious, cygnet, whimsical, whisker, capricious, mulberry, lashing, lilac, fenestration, forthright, testament, melancholy, calypso, gloved, malicious, weep, lust, lubricious, sparkle, sympathy, ensorcel, woebegone, nautilus, vicarious, pessary, flutter, dolorous, rampant, phantasmagorical, sylvan, passementerie, ambrosia, villainess.

What words do you love the sound of?


3 thoughts on “In which we’re talking about words”

  1. Libby Dodd says:

    Oh, what fun!
    Love sounds. I drive those around me crazy by repeating pleasing/interesting sounds as I happen upon them.
    I’ll have to think about additions to your list.

  2. Judy Westmoreland says:

    They are vanilla, amethyst, heliotrope, jazz, Jewel and my all time favorite provocateur.

  3. Betty Strohecker says:

    What a wonderful list of words that emphasize the delicious sounds of language. Just off the top of my head, I would add chrystalline to your very thorough list (one of my most favorite words in teaching descriptive writing to 5th graders). Perhaps also: twinkle and sparkle, although very simple words and luminescent (unless I missed it above).

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