Hello and welcome back. It’s now proper autumn here in northern Italy, the time of herbal teas, roast chestnuts and new students. No wonder it’s my favourite time of the year! 🙂 To celebrate this amazing season, today I’m going to write something OT, which was inspired (copied?) by this blog post.
I find it such a nice idea, that I actually would like to pass it over to you and see your lists. That’s why at the end of this post I am going to “nominate” a few people, inviting them to do the same on their blog if they like. If you are not on the… ehm… nominee list, feel free to write your list anyway, and maybe link it in a comment below.
Since it’s October (the 10th month of the year), I am going to pick 10 English words that I really like because of how they sound, their meaning or spelling, or just because.
1- niggardliness: the quality of being niggardly, i.e. ungenerous with money, time etc. I simply love this unexpected word, how it sounds and how the first time I read it, it made me think about anything but meanness.
2- enamoured: having a liking or admiration for; being filled with love for. This is obviously an old French or Latin derivative. I like it both for this reason, and because it reminds me of how English and Roman languages can sometimes love-hate each other.
3- equanimity: calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation. I simply don’t think any other language has such a nice word to express this concept. This says a lot about the people who speak English as their first language…
4- blimey: exclamation to express surprise, excitement or alarm. Do I really need to explain why this one is in my all-time favourite list? 😀
5- gewgaw: a showy thing, especially one that is useless or worthless. The word says it all, I wonder what’s its etymology…
6- wry / wryly: using or expressing dry, especially mocking humour; twisted into an expression of disgust, disappointment or annoyance. As for equanimity, this word says a lot about the people who “created” it. It is a concept I don’t think I could express as well in any other of the languages I know.
7- bumptious: irritatingly self-assertive. This is one of the many – ous adjectives (presumptuous, hideous, pompous, callous…) used to describe negatively someone or something, which makes the English language so expressive.
8- notwithstanding: in spite of, nevertheless, although. I bet we can’t find another language with such a long conjunction. 15-letter word, 500 points on the Scrabble board (as Eddie Izzard would say).
9- fluffy: of, like or covered with fluff; frivolous or silly. Fffffffantastic!
10- topsy-turvy: upside down or in a state of confusion. Onomatopoeic words are my favourite, but unfortunately we don’t have many in Italian. Luckily English is full of them (as is Mandarin Chinese). This one in particular might not qualify as an onomatopoeic word, but when I heard it for the first time I knew exactly what it meant.
And the list could go on and on. English can be a lovely thing, uh?
Here are my nominees:
I can’t wait to read your lists!