My Favorite Words

Writers work with words. As a writer, I just love words in general. Over time, I have come across some words that, through meaning and sound, became my favorites. All definitions are from dictionary.com unless otherwise stated. Words are listed in reverse alphabetical order.

Queue – A braid of hair worn hanging down behind; a file or line of (someone or something) awaiting their turn. I also love how this word insists on having two unnecessary, but aesthetically pleasing, letters at the end.

Liaison – A person who initiates and maintains a contact of communication.

Colloquial – Characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.

Emily Dickinson silhouette in Amherst; 2011.
Emily Dickinson silhouette in Amherst; 2011.

Antiquest – This word is not found in the online archives, and is my favorite word because it was coined by my favorite poet. Emily Dickinson created this word to mean “Most acutely; most hauntingly; most nostalgically; most memorably” (x). Think “antiquity” but at its most potent meaning. To be honest, when I first heard of this word, I imagined a journey that was the opposite of a quest, or a journey with no motive (think Anti-quest rather than Antique-est). I like to pretend that this definition is included.

I am attracted to words with L, S, and Q sounds. I find these sounds graceful and delicate. I think it’s beneficial for writers to identify what their favorite words are to discover what sounds the writer’s ears are attracted to the most. I think that this can be linked to the writer’s style, though that would take some further analysis.

Do you have any favorite words? I’d love to read them!


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