Thursday, 29 January 2015

Favourite words…

When I set out to record my top ten favourite words I didn’t realise that it would actually turn into twenty. Ten simply wasn’t enough, even twenty was pushing it; I even had to leave out flange, such a lovely word. Words are very personal things you see, and favourite words can say an awful lot about a person.

Of course, I like word games – scrabble, hangman, word search, call my bluff, although I’m not very big on crosswords – and words are powerful things. I hate it when I am lost for them which appears to be getting more frequent these days, sometimes forgetting the simplest of words and occasionally using the wrong won.

I’m not sure what my twenty words say about me, but I’ve written down their meaning and then tried to describe what they really mean to me which isn’t quite the same thing. Reading them back it seems that there are a couple of themes. Either I was a highwayman in a previous life or a bit of a Casanova, either way, given this collection of words, I think I must have a touch of cad (another favourite of mine) running in my veins.

Here they are and while I have your atttention, what’s your favourite word?

1. Flibbertigibbet
- a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman.
- I can smell perfume and powder as I write this.

2. Kafuffle
- a minor or meaningless tussle or fight of little consequence.
- sounds like a sneeze in an old Keystone Kops movie, except they were silent.

3. Comely
- pleasing and wholesome in appearance.
- pleasantly plump, full-lipped, young women drinking cider on a summery day.

4. Jiggery-pokery
- deceitful or dishonest behaviour.
- as it spits from my mouth it conjures up pictures of dark rooms and magic spells.

5. Serein
- refers to rain falling from a cloudless sky.
- the sort of rain that’s a fine, light drizzle, typically after dusk, just before I spot that unicorn.

6. Dalliance
- a period of brief or casual involvement with something or someone.
- I’ve had my fair share of these – enough said?

7. Gongoozle
- To stare aimlessly at the water, particularly a canal in Lincolnshire.
- I’m a gongoozler. I could stare at water all day. It Bamboozles and hoodwinks - 2 others I love.

8. Onomatopoeia
- the act of creating or using words that include sounds similar to the noises the words refer to.
- ‘pop’, ‘boom’, ‘squelch’ - I love the shape and sound of it makes as my mouth and tongue work hard.

9. Gusset
- a second layer of cloth sewn into a piece of clothing to make it larger, stronger, more comfortable.
- a very comfortable, soft, warm and woody word that always makes me smile.

10. Palaver
- prolonged and tedious fuss or discussion.
- cor blimey guvnor I’ll just fetch me barrer, chim chimmeny!

11. Swoon
- a fainting spell or a state of ecstasy or rapture.
- pretty maidens falling at my feet - what more could I ask for?

12. Fez
- a hat in shape of a truncated cone made of red felt, often with a tassel.
- just like that… Tommy Cooper and Casablanca.

13. Moist
- slightly wet.
- another word I find hard to say without grinning.

14. Debauchery
- excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs.
- wench, bring me more porter and make sure not to tarry! Now where did I put my rapier?

15. Floppy
- tending to fall down or hang; loose and flexible.
- such a friendly word (now that the discs are no more), makes me think of fluffy bunny rabbits.

16. Haberdashery
- small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread.
- I love a long word, especially one that smells of dusty, dark shops with lots of shelves.

17. Shenanigans
- secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering, high spirited behaviour, mischief.
- makes me feel like dancing a jig whilst drinking a pint of Guinness.

18. Quixotic
- extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.
- that’s me – just call me Donkey Heighty!

19. Turpitude
- depraved or wicked behaviour or character.
- me again.

20. Hullabaloo
- a loud noise or a condition of noisy confusion.
- my natural state, but with a hint of Disney.


  1. Emma Cholmondeley on FB
    Oh I've got loads......I like shenanigans and bamboozle I also like smooch and splendiferous

    1. Andrew Height
      Smooch! Gadzooks, I missed that one!

  2. Carmel Payne on FB
    Flibbertigibbet. Love this word.

    1. Andrew Height
      Not gusset then Carmel?

    2. Carmel Payne
      Hideous word!!!!

    3. Andrew Height
      You flibbertigibbet, I can smell the perfume and powder from here xx

  3. Louisa Morgan on FB
    Love this Andrew!

    1. Andrew Height
      Thanks Louisa. So what is your favourite word?

    2. Louisa Morgan
      Love a bit of jiggery-pokery, ha ha!

    3. Andrew Height
      Why am I not surprised Louisa?

  4. Linda Kemp on FB
    serendipity for me x

    1. Andrew Height
      Good word Linda. In my top thirty.

  5. Graham Ido Taxi Kinsey on FB

    1. Andrew Height
      Tactile makes me think of a thin knitted woollen tie for some reason Graham.

  6. Paul Whitehouse
    Not overly keen on SMEGMA could never buy a SMEG fridge.

    1. Andrew Height
      Not a great word Paul. I usually buy Hotpoint - if you know what I mean.

  7. Sharon Taylor on FB
    I had a think and the word that came in to my head was blancmange, properly spelled en France ?

    1. Andrew Height
      Blancmange - a wibble-wobble word Sharon