Favorite Words

When I was a little girl, my favorite word was “starving”. Not because I thought that the sensation of hunger was pleasant (quite the opposite), but because it started with “star”, and that evoked images of pretty, twinkling night skies. I got in trouble for using it one night at the dinner table, and my love for the word waned temporarily. Now it’s back to being my favorite, though, at least in English.

When I was learning French in high school, my favorite words were “oiseaux” and “hérisson” and “ananas”, probably because my teacher loved them so much. They made her (and the whole class) grin when they poured out of her mouth — “un ananananananananas” we used to say. But now my favorite word in French is “kyrielle” — not only does it look pretty in print, but it tickles the tongue when you say it, too.

I don’t really have a favorite word in Spanish, probably because I never really learned to love the language as much as I love French. Although I do rather like the word “osito”, probably because I’m so fond of mine.

And tonight I’ve discovered another favorite word — this one in Hebrew. It’s “kishkush” — such a silly-sounding word, right? But that’s fitting, because it means “nonsense”. I’m busy memorizing stacks of words that have no semblance whatsoever to their English (or French, or Spanish) counterparts, but that one is stuck in my brain for good, no memorization required.

So, what are your favorite words?

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One Response to “Favorite Words”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Hmm, well I’ve always liked glauque in French. In my mind it doesn’t have such a bad connotation. It reminds me more of the inside of Paris metro stations. In Spanish, one of my favorites is chirimiri. It means drizzle, but the kind of constant drizzle that slowly soaks you to the bone. Speaking of rain, pouring rain goes “zaa-zaa” in Japanese. I love Japanese onomatopoeia and double words, like “doki-doki for the sound of your heart beating, or “pera-pera” for someone speaking fluently. And I do have a soft spot for “genki” (adjective meaning well, energetic, lively) and “ganbatte” (try hard, hang in there, do your best). They’re some of the first words you learn in Japanese, but they defy translation in English.

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