Question of the day.

What is your favourite word in the English vocabulary?

My answer:

I honestly wouldn’t be able to pick just one, in any language that I like. There are too many words I like and I like them in different ways, so it’s kinda like asking a child who she loves more, mummy or daddy. But I did decide to pick one word, just for the sake of this post.

When talking about favourite words, people often focus on the really sophisticated, long ones, or the particularly weird or funny slang words that they like, or some swear words that they find particularly useful, expressive and/or versatile. But people rarely talk about the really mundane, common words that are used on a daily basis. Perhaps they’re less thought about because they’re so rare, or perhaps no one likes them? So I decided to talk about one really mundane, simple English word that I LOVE very much, and perhaps part of why I love it so much is this simplicity. This word is sleep. No language out of those I know has a better word for the thing! The word sleep just says it all and encompasses everything about what sleep is. And it sounds so insanely cute. I like saying it. It’s so calm, peaceful and fluffy, like a sleeping baby, better even, like a sleeping kitten. In a tactile way, it feels really nice too. It’s also round and… not quite fluffy, because it’s made of something hard, metal I think, but it’s small and cute. And gustatorily it tastes like walnuts. The Polish word for sleep – sen –
feels insanely bland and flat in comparison. Plus at the same time it also means dream, not like a daydream but specifically the dream you get while you’re asleep, so it’s also not very logical because they’re too different things even if they occur together. If I’m Polish and it’s illogical to me, I guess it must be all the more illogical for non-native speakers. ๐Ÿ˜€ So mostly when I see the word sen without any context, I think dream, not sleep. It’s also cheesy, because synaesthetically it feels and tastes like cheese, perhaps because cheese is ser so it’s just one letter’s difference. And it’s not even good quality cheese in this case, it tastes kind of artificial. The Polish verb for to sleep is spaฤ‡, and it’s also very boring, even more so actually, but I’m a big fan of some of its conjugations. Like the imperative form of this verb is ล›pij (SHPEEY) and that sounds so much better. Or you can ask someone “ลšpisz?” (SHPEESh) (Are you asleep?). I wish the infinitive form was ล›piฤ‡, not spaฤ‡, it would sound more like what it actually means. The Swedish sรถmn is way too heavy for a healthy kind of sleep, like you’re sleeping on particularly strong sleeping pills or something, or like you’re drunk and when you finally wake up, whenever that might be, you’ll be mightily hungover. Much like I always end up on Hydroxyzine. ๐Ÿ˜€ And the Welsh cwsg (COOSK) is really nice but too light in turn and just not enough personality (which is rare with Welsh words but here it’s just how it is), so like sleeping with no dreams and waking up at every smallest rustle. Sleep is just right. It’s the kind of healthy, peaceful sleep from which you wake up rested, happy and refreshed, and looking forward to when you can go to sleep again, but not because you’re sleepy or have nothing better to do, it’s just a nice state to be in.

What’s yours? ๐Ÿ™‚

18 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

  1. Sleep!! Huh!! It is a nice word! It plays fair by English spelling patterns, as it’s pronounced exactly as it looks to be! (And as you probably know, that’s a huge issue in our language–words that aren’t pronounced as you’d think, or words where you can’t tell how they should be said.) But yeah, sleep is a word you could use as a reading teacher to get a kid to spell it, because there’s no trickery.

    Hmm…. oh no, I can’t pick one! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love equinox, aquamarine, and turquoise! I also love badassery, ever since I learned that it’s an actual word! ๐Ÿ˜€ And Poindexter!! (That’s become a word meaning: a boringly studious and socially inept person, according to Google here.) Bodacious badassery!! I was trying to post something online, and the censors didn’t like badass, so I was trying to find a synonym for badass and came up with agitator, rebel, demagogue, dissident, fighter, frondeur, renegade, and sparkplug. HA HA HA HA!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the word bodacious too, Meg.

      Aquamarine and turquoise are so beautiful and shiny and sea-like.

      Poindexter [or only Dexter] – wasn’t that person a character first? And then genericised?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh wow, yeah, I forgot that Dexter is a nickname for Poindexter! Yeah, what a tragic name for your parents to give you! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s like, “Gee, thanks, Mom and Dad.” ๐Ÿ˜€

        Yeah, aren’t sealike words gorgeous?

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Hahaha oh yeah, as someone whose native language is very phonetically straightforward, I certainly know a bit about the inconsistency of English in this regard. ๐Ÿ˜€ But I also think that even if it’s not logical, a lot of it is intuitive.
      Interesting that you like so many words with q! ๐Ÿ™‚ Badassery is quite funny because it really sounds like it’s just some neologism and not an actual word.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HA HA! Yeah, I put badassery in a novel, and when I typed it in the doc, I was expecting spell-check to protest, but then it didn’t! I was like, wow, it’s an actual word! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ YAY!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. That is a great answer. I don’t know that I can pick one word that is appropriate for a response – I often like to combine several nasty words together when I am angry and they then become my most used word until I am over whatever upset me. However, there are TWO words I used very often in the last 30+ years – Breber (the nickname for one of my daughters) and Hullabalooper (nickname for the other). Not sure if either have a meaning in English or otherwise, but saying them takes me back to when they were young and life was easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Okay.

    My favourite word is PRESS both noun and verb

    for example – your clothes are in a press; and you press your clothes.

    and in terms of the expressions you can use it in

    like “Don’t press the point”.

    The Polish word for dream is great – marzena.

    I am glad for one that the Polish word for sleep is in the first conjugation – so that it is learnt early.

    TV Tropes has a wonderful page showing how Polish conjugations work.

    There are probably many people who would not be able to sleep if they tasted walnuts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Press is a very versatile word indeed, it has so many meanings and you can do so much with it.
      The Polish word for dream isn’t really marzena, it’s marzenie. ๐Ÿ™‚ Marzena is a Polish female name, which may be etymologically related but no one seems to know for sure whether it is.
      Hm, I don’t think the conjugation would matter here very much. The -iฤ‡ conjugations are pretty straightforward too, and ล›piฤ‡ would be easier to pronounce for some toddlers, also there are many Polish baby speak terms for “to sleep” anyway, haha.
      Lol about the walnuts, I think you’re right. I myself am not a big fan of them, although I don’t hate them either, but in my opinion they complement the sound of the word sleep very well.

      Liked by 2 people

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