100 Beautiful and Ugly Words
One of the many fascinating features of our language is how often words with pleasant associations are also quite pleasing on the tongue and even to the eye, and how many words, by contrast, acoustically and visually corroborate their disagreeable nature — look no further than the heading for this post.
Enrich the poetry of your prose by applying words that provide precise connotation while also evoking emotional responses. (Note the proportion of beautiful words to ugly ones in the compilation below; it’s easier to conjure the former than the latter, though I omitted words associated with bodily functions, as well as onomatopoeic terms.)
Notice how often attractive words present themselves to define other beautiful ones, and note also how many of them are interrelated, and what kind of sensations, impressions, and emotions they have in common. Also, try enunciating beautiful words as if they were ugly, or vice versa. Are their sounds suggestive of their quality, or does their meaning wholly determine their effect on us?
Amorphous: indefinite, shapeless
Cascade: steep waterfall
Cashmere: fine, delicate wool
Chrysalis: protective covering
Cinnamon: an aromatic spice; its soft brown color
Coalesce: unite, or fuse
Crepuscular: dim, or twilit
Crystalline: clear, or sparkling
Desultory: half-hearted, meandering
Epitome: embodiment of the ideal
Ethereal: celestial, unworldly, immaterial
Etiquette: proper conduct
Exuberant: abundant, unrestrained, outsize
Felicity: happiness, pleasantness
Filament: thread, strand
Idyllic: contentedly pleasing
Incorporeal: without form
Incandescent: glowing, radiant, brilliant, zealous
Ineffable: indescribable, unspeakable
Languid: slow, listless
Lilt: cheerful or buoyant song or movement
Lithe: flexible, graceful
Lullaby: soothing song
Luminescence: dim chemical or organic light
Mellifluous: smooth, sweet
Mist: cloudy moisture, or similar literal or virtual obstacle
Murmur: soothing sound
Myriad: great number
Penumbra: shade, shroud, fringe
Quintessential: most purely representative or typical
Redolent: aromatic, evocative
Resonant: echoing, evocative
Rhapsodic: intensely emotional
Sapphire: rich, deep bluish purple
Somnolent: drowsy, sleep inducing
Sonorous: loud, impressive, imposing
Spherical: ball-like, globular
Sublime: exalted, transcendent
Succulent: juicy, tasty, rich
Suffuse: flushed, full
Symphony: harmonious assemblage
Talisman: charm, magical device
Tessellated: checkered in pattern
Zenith: highest point
Cacophony: confused noise
Cataclysm: flood, catastrophe, upheaval
Chafe: irritate, abrade
Coarse: common, crude, rough, harsh
Cynical: distrustful, self-interested
Decrepit: worn-out, run-down
Disgust: aversion, distaste
Grimace: expression of disgust or pain
Grotesque: distorted, bizarre
Hoarse: harsh, grating
Mediocre: ordinary, of low quality
Obstreperous: noisy, unruly
Rancid: offensive, smelly
Shriek: sharp, screeching sound
Shrill: high-pitched sound
Shun: avoid, ostracize
Slaughter: butcher, carnage
Unctuous: smug, ingratiating
Visceral: crude, anatomically graphic
What did I miss? Add to these lists in a comment below.Recommended for you: « 7 Grammatical Errors That Aren’t »
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199 Responses to “100 Beautiful and Ugly Words”
Oh gosh, what myriad plethora of words, I have so many that I just find to be so incredibly dulciloquent(a. sweetly language) as well as those words who exceed the syllabic qualities of three’s and fours such as those that might be sesquipedelian(a. given to using long words;lit. 7 syllable words), here are some of my absolute favorites:
piceous – adj. brown, grayish; soot-colored
cerise – adj. a cherry red
floccinaucinihilipilification – noun. the action or habit of estimating something as worthless
cynosure – noun. a person or thing which is the center of attention or the object of beauty
cwm – Noun. Chiefly Scottish. a cirque
succubus – noun. A female demon believed to have intercourse with sleeping men
soporific – adj. sleep inducing
throng – noun. a large gathering of people
prurient – adj. having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters
puerile – adj. childishly silly or immature
acanthus – noun. An herbaceous plant or shrub with bold flower spikes and spiny decorative leaves
nictitate – verb. blink
arenose – adj. sandy
noisome – adj. foul smelling
redolent – adj. sweetly or pleasantly smelling
sudor – noun. sweat, perspiration
exsuphlocation – noun. an expiration of breath; to expel air forcefully from the lungs
syzygy – noun. the alignment of all nine celestial bodies
aeviternal – adj. everlasting, endless
interstices – noun. an intervening space( i.e. the spaces between fingers)
brumous – Noun. Of grey skies or winter days, filled with heavy clouds or fog; relating to winter or cold sunless weather
stelliferous – Adjective. Having or abounding with stars
lacuna – noun. An unfilled space; a gap
kairos – Noun. The perfect, delicate, crucial moment: the fleeting rightness of time and place, that creates the opportune atmosphere for action, words, or movement; also, weather
apricity – noun. The warmth of the sun in winter
mistpouffer – Noun. A mysterious sound heard over the ocean, in quiet, foggy weather
mellifluous – adj. sweet or musical, pleasant to the ears
mångata – Noun. The reflection of the moon on the water
hiraeth – noun. A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return; a home which maybe never was. The nostalgia, the yearning, the grief, for the lost places of your past
supine – noun. (Of a person) lying face upwards
decumbent – Adj. lying along the ground; 2. Taken to having to lay down
noceur – Noun. One who stays up late
baffian – Adj. outlandish
morosis – Noun. The stupidest of stupidities.
sillage – Noun. The scent that lingers in air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has come and gone- the trace of someone’s perfume; 2. Noun. The degree to which someone’s perfume lingers in the air
brontide – Noun. The low rumble of distant thunder
xyst – Noun. A garden walk planted with trees
gerful – Adjective. Wild and wayward
clinomania – Noun. Excessive desire to stay in bed
euneirophrenia – Noun. The peace of mind that comes from having pleasant dreams
bussing – noun. Kissing
oscultating – noun. Kissing
basorexia – Noun. The overwhelming desire to kiss
baisement – Noun. Kissing; lit. A kiss on the hand
selenophile – Noun. A person who loves the moon
rhinotillexomania – Noun. The overwhelming desire to be loved
lisztomania – Noun. The overwhelming desire to listen to music all of the time
irusu – Noun. Pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door
majime – Noun. An earnest, reliable person who can get things done without causing drama
ikigai – Noun. A reason for being the thing that gets you up in the morning
yugen – Noun. A profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep, emotional response.
flume – noun. An artificial channel to move water
ukiyo – Noun. Literally, “the floating world”; living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life
yoisho – Noun. A word without meaning, said when dropping into a chair after a long day at work
shibui – Noun. Old school cool
kuidaore – Noun. To eat yourself into bankruptcy
hikikomori – Noun. When a young person obsessed with television, video games, and the internet withdraws from society
wasuremono – Noun. Forgotten or lost things; left behind on a train or forgotten at home
nito-onna – Noun. A woman dedicated so much to her career that she has no time to iron blouses, so dresses only in knitted tops
bimyou – Noun. Not bad or “meh”
komorebi – Noun. Sunlight filtering through trees
tsundoko – Noun. The art of buying a book and leaving it unread, often stacked together with other books which are also unread.
shinrin-yoku – Literally, “forest bathing”, a visit to the forest for relaxation and to improve one’s health
age-otori – Noun. The bad feeling someone gets after receiving a bad haircut.
ceraunophile -Noun. Person who loves lightning and thunder
pluviophile – Noun. A lover of rain; one who takes pleasure and joy in experiencing rainy days
querencia – Noun. A place where one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where someone is their most authentic self
abditory – Noun. A place into which you can disappear; a hiding place
orphic – noun. Mysterious and entrancing, beyond ordinary understanding
borborygmi – Noun. The rumbling sounds your stomach makes
flumadiddle – Noun. Utter nonsense
eunoia – Noun. Beautiful thinking, a well mind 2. The frame of mind one must be in to welcome new friendships
eccedentesiast – Noun. A person who fakes a smile
pisanthrobia – Noun. A fear of trusting people due to past experiences with relationships gone bad
waldeinsamkeit – Noun. The feeling of being alone in the woods
feuillemort – Noun. The color of a dying leaf
sirimiri – Noun. A light rain, a fine drizzle
dendrophile – Noun. A lover of trees
alexithmyia – Noun. An inability to describe emotions in a verbal manner
boketto – Verb. The act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking
beamish – Adjective. bright, cheerful, and optimistic
nefelibata – Noun. Literally, “cloud walker”, one who lives in the clouds of their own imagination or dreams, or one who does not obey the convictions of society, literature, or art
Thalassophile – Noun. A lover of the sea, someone who loves the ocean or sea
philophobia – Noun. The fear of being in or falling in love
petrichor – Noun. The smell outside after it rains
trollop – noun. A sexually promiscuous woman
drapetomania – Noun. An overwhelming urge to run away
gigil – Noun. The overwhelming urge to squeeze someone because you love them.
imbroglio – Noun. A confined, embarrassing situation
torpid – Adjective. Dormant, lazy
jargoon – noun. a smoky gem variety of zircon
blatherskite – Noun. A person who talks at great length without making any sense
kalon – Adjective. Beauty that is more than skin deep
psithurism – Noun. The sound of the wind through trees
apodyopsis – Noun. The act of mentally undressing someone
tartle – Verb. To hesitate while introducing someone as you have forgotten their name.
proliferate – verb. increase rapidly in number
absquatulate – Verb. To leave without saying goodbye
nexility – adj. fastness or compactness of speech
numinous – Adjective. Being both fearful and awed by what is before you
trouvaille – Noun. A chance encounter with something wonderful
sonder – Verb. The realization that everyone is living their own vivid life
flaneur – noun. An urban rambler
solivagant – Verb. Wandering alone
Hodophile – Noun. A lover of roads, one who loves to travel
strikhedonia – Noun. The ability to be able to say, “To hell with it.”
sophrosyne – Noun. A healthy state of mind, characterized by self-control, moderation, and a deep awareness of one’s true self, and resulting in true happiness
eudaimonia – Noun. Literally, “human flourishing”; a contented state of being happy, and healthy, and prosperous
hypnagogic – adjective. the state immediately before falling asleep
dysania – Noun. The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning
schwellenangst – Noun. Fear of crossing a threshold to embark on something new
yūgen – Noun. An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses to deep and mysterious for words
acatalepsy – Noun. The idea that it is impossible to truly comprehend everything
novaturient – Noun. The desire to alter your life, the feeling that pushes you to travel
nemophilist – Noun. A haunted or the woods; one who loves the forest for its beauty and solitude
toska – Noun. A state of great anguish, melancholy, longing beyond bearable bounds
icterine – Noun. A color described as yellowish, jaundiced, or yellowish-brown
kalopsia – Noun. The illusion of things being more beautiful than they truly are
selcouth – Adjective. Unfamiliar, strange, rare, and yet marvelous
pulchritudinous – adjective. breathtaking, heartbreaking beauty
duende – Noun. The mysterious power of art to deeply move someone
eudaemonia – Noun. The contented state of happiness and glee when we travel
forelsket – Noun. The euphoria felt when you are first falling in love
cheiloproclitic – Adjective. Having an erotic and passionate desire towards someone’s lips
ubuntu – Noun. The belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others
abbiocco – Noun. The drowsiness experienced after eating a big meal
curglaff – Noun. The shock felt when entering cold water
vellichor – Noun. The strange wastefulness of used bookstores
nellypot – noun. one who walks barefoot
coddiwopple – Verb. To travel purposefully to a vague destination
consenescere – Verb. To grow old and grey together; to stay too long in an occupation, to decay, to lose respect, to fade
redamancy – Noun. The act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full.
desiderium – Noun. An ardent longing, as for something lost
uitwaaien – Verb. To take a break to clear one’s head. Literally, “To take a walk in the wind.”
anoesis – Noun. A state of mind consisting of pure sensation of emotion without cognitive content.
erythropoiesis – Noun. The process of the production of red blood cells
cyanosis – Adjective. The blueness of the skin as caused by imperfectly oxygenated blood
leucoderma – Noun. An unusual whiteness in the skin; a pigment deficiency
amaranthine – Adjective. Undying, immortally beautiful
kedegenous – Adjective. Causing stress
thantophobia – Noun. The fear of losing someone you love
limerence – Noun. The state of being infatuated with another person
ephorize – Verb. To have an absolute controlling influence over
kapel – Noun. Sunny days when water stars dripping from icicles
adoxography – Noun. Beautiful writing on a subject of little or no importance.
surbed – Verb. To set a stone edgewise or any different position, which it had while it lay in the quarry.
grike – Noun. (Chiefly British) . A deep cleft formed in limestone surfaces do to water erosion; providing a unique habitat for plants.
bedrape – verb. Archaic. To dress or clothe
pederast – noun. a man who engages in pederasty
vitrification – verb. Make into glass
collimate – verb. make rays of light or particles parallel
pallid – adj. pale or tawny
knosp – noun. a bud-like ornament
quinine – noun. A bitter crystalline compound present in cinchona bark
howk – verb. (with object) dig out or up
desultory – adj. lacking a plan or purpose
chypre – n. The name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterized by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy animalistic base-note composed of oak moss and musk 2. Noun. a non-alcoholic perfume containing oils and resins
cistus – Noun. Biology. Cistus is a genus of flowering plants in the rock rose family Cistaceae, containing about 20 species.
mirth – adj. happiness, glee, pleasantness
trammel – verb. restrictions or impediments to freedoms or actions
labdanum – noun. Biology. Also laudanum. A brown sticky resin made from the twigs and sticks of this plant used as both an essential oil in various fragrances, but also as a homeopathic remedy for rheumatism, menstrual cramps, and common colds.
tarn – noun. A small mountain lake
muskeg – noun. A North American swamp or bog consisting mostly of water and partly dead vegetation
nemophilist – noun. One who is fond of forests or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods
hain – verb. To save, leave off, or forbear
goshawk – noun. A large short-winged hawk resembling a large sparrow-hawk
bothy – noun. (In Scotland) a small hut or village
nemorous – adjective. Forested, full of trees; dark with shady groves
interfluve – noun. Geology. A region between the valleys of adjacent watercourses, especially in a dissected upland
campestral – adjective. Relating to open fields or uncultivated land
usurp – verb. Take a position of power
indomite – adjective. Not tamed; untamed; feral, wild
cismontane – adjective. On this side of the mountains, esp. The Alps
castrensial – adjective. Belonging to a camp
ecesis – noun. The establishment of an immigrant plant in a new environment
bathylkopian – noun. The deepest level of the ocean’s layers
silvicolous – adjective. Growing in woodlands
transmontane – Noun. A cold north wind blowing in Italy or the adjoining regions of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean.
montanic – adjective. Of or containing of mountains
ferity – adjective. The state or quality of being savage
paludinal – adjective. Inhabiting ponds or swamps
podzol – noun. An infertile acidic soil having an ash-like subsurface layer
amnicolost – noun. One who lives near a river
xerosere – noun. A sere occurring on dry soil
sere – adjective. Especially of vegetation dry or withered
vastity – noun. Obsolete. Emptiness or vastness
verderer – noun. A judicial officer of a royal forest
arenicolite – noun. Paleontology. An ancient wormhole in sand preserved in the rock.
cascalho – noun. A deposit of pebbles, gravel, or ferruginous sand
sabulous -adjective. Sandy or gritty.
petrean – adjective. Composed of rock or stone; stony
psammite – noun. A general term for sandstone
chessil – noun. Gravel or pebbles
corrasion – noun. Wear caused by wind-blown or water borne sand
scopulous – adjective. Full of rocks; rocky
saxicavous – adjective. Boring in rock- used especially of a mollusk or mussel
strockle – noun. A shovel with a turned up edge used by glass workers
curaris – noun. A blackish, resinlike substance derived from tropical plants of the genus Strychnos, especially S. toxifera, and from the root of pareira, used by certain South American indigenous people for poisoning arrows and employed in physiological experiments, medicine, etc., for arresting the action of motor nerves
ciliate – Noun. Zoology. Any species of the phylum Ciliaphora( or in some classification schemes, class Ciliata), as those of the genera Paramecium, Tetrahymena, Stentor, and Vorticella. Having cilia on part or all of the surface.
milreis – noun. A silver coin and former monetary unit of Brazil, equal to 1000 reis, discontinued in 1942
calotype – noun. an early photographic process
Here are some other words I absolutely am enampred with:
catafalque – noun. a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state.
cortege – noun. a solemn procession esp. for a funeral
pall – noun. a cloth spread over a coffin, hearse, or tomb; figurative. a dark cloud or covering of smoke, dust, or similar matter; figurative. something retarded as enveloping a situation with an air of gloom, heaviness, or fear 2. an ecclesiastical pallium; heraldry. a Y-shape charge representing the front of an ecclesiastical pallium. ORIGIN: Old English pell [rich (purple) cloth, ] [cloth cover for a chalice,] from Latin pallium ‘covering, cloak.’
3. verb. [intrans.] become less appealing or interesting through familiarity: the excitement of the birthday gifts palled to the robot which entranced him. ORIGIN: late Middle English; shortening of APPALL
columbarium – noun. (pl. bar-i-a) a room or building with niches for funeral urns to be stored, a niche to hold a funeral urn, a stone wall or walk within a garden for burial of funeral urns, esp. attached to a church. ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘pigeon house.’
balefire – noun. a lare open-air fire; a bonfire.
eloge – noun. a panegyrical funeral oration.
panegyrical – noun. a public speech or published text in praise of someone or something
aphorism – noun. a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”; a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient or classical author.
elogium – noun. a short saying, an inscription. The praise bestowed on a person or thing; a eulogy
epicede – noun. dirge elegy; sorrow or care. A funeral song or discourse, an elegy.
exequy – noun. plural ex-e-quies. usually, exequies. Funeral rites or ceremonies; obsequies. 2. a funeral procession.
loge – noun. (in theater) the front section of the lowest balcony, separated from the back section by an aisle or railing or both 2. a box in a theater or opera house 3. any small enclosure; booth. 4. (in France) a cubicle for the confinement of art students during important examinations
obit – noun. informal. an obituary 2. the date of a person’s death 3. Obsolete. a Requiem Mass
obsequy – noun. plural ob-se-quies. a funeral rite or ceremony.
arval – noun. A funeral feast ORIGIN: W. arwy funeral; ar over + wylo, ‘to weep’ or cf. arf[“o]; Icelandic arfr: inheritance + Sw. [“o]i ale. Cf. Bridal.
knell – noun. the sound made by a bell rung slowly, especially fora death or a funeral 2. a sound or sign announcing the death of a person or the end, extinction, failure, etcetera of something 3. any mournful sound 4. verb. (used without object). to sound, as a bell, especially a funeral bell 5. verb. to give forth a mournful, ominous, or warning sound.
bier – noun. a frame or stand on which a corpse or coffin containing it is laid before burial; such a stand together with the corpse or coffin
coronach – noun. (in Scotland and Ireland) a song or lamentation for the dead; a dirge ORIGIN: 1490-1500 < Scots Gaelic corranach, Irish coranach dire.
epicedium – noun. plural epicedia. use of a neuter of epikedeios of a funeral, equivalent to epi-epi + kede- (stem of kedos: care, sorrow)
funerate – verb. to bury with funeral rites
inhumation – verb(used with an object). to bury
nenia – noun. a funeral song; an elegy
pibroch – noun. (in the Scottish Highlands) a piece of music for the bagpipe, consisting of a series of variations on a basic theme, usually martial in character, but sometimes used as a dirge
pollinctor – noun. one who prepared corpses for the funeral
saulie – noun. a hired mourner at a funeral
thanatousia – noun. funeral rites
ullagone – noun. a cry of lamentation; funeral lament. also, a cry of sorrow ORIGIN: Irish-Gaelic
ulmaceous – of or like elms
uloid – noun. a scar
flagon – noun. a large bottle for drinks such as wine or cide
ullage – noun. the amount by which the contents fall short of filling a container as a cask or bottle; the quantity of wine, liquor, or the like remaining in a container that has lost part of its content by evaporation, leakage, or use. 3. Rocketry. the volume of a loaded tank of liquid propellant in excess of the volume of the propellant; the space provided for thermal expansion of the propellant and the accumulation of gases evolved from it
suttee – (also, sati) noun. a Hindu practice whereby a widow immolates herself on the funeral pyre of her husband: now abolished by law; A Hindu widow who so immolates herself
myriologue – noun. the goddess of fate or death. An extemporaneous funeral song, composed and sung by a woman on the death of a friend.
threnody – noun. a poem, speech, or song of lamentation, especially for the dead; dirge; funeral song
charing cross – noun. a square and district in central London, England: major railroad terminals.
feretory – noun. a container for the relics of a saint; reliquary. 2. an enclosure or area within a church where such a reliquary is kept 3. a portable bier or shrine
sthenic – adjective. dated Medicine. of or having a high or excessive level of strength and energy
toff – Noun. British Informal. Derogatory. An upper-class person
blatherskite – Noun. A person who talks at great length without making any sense
tatterdemalion – noun. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person. 2. adjective. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated
curtal – adjective. archaic. shortened, abridged, or curtailed; noun. historical. a dulcian or bassoon of the late 16th to early 18th century.
dulcian – noun. an early type of bassoon made in one piece; any of various organ stops, typically with 8-foot funnel-shaped flue pipes or 8- or 16-foot reed pipes
withe – noun. a flexible branch of an osier or other willow, used for tying, binding, or basketry
osier – noun. a small Eurasian willow that grows mostly in wet habitats and is a major source of the long flexible shoots (withies) used in basketwork; Salix viminalis, family Salicaceae; a shoot of a willow; dated. any willow tree 2. noun. any of several North American dogwoods.
directoire – adjective. of or relating to a neoclassical decorative style intermediate between the more ornate Louis XVI style and the Empire style, prevalent during the French Directory (1795-99)
caul – noun. the amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus, part of this membrane occasionally found on a child's head at birth, thought to bring good luck. 2. historical. a woman's close-fitting indoor headdress 3. the omentum.
undertum – noun. figurative. an implicit quality, emotion, or influence underlying the superficial aspects of something and leaving a particular impression
surfeit – noun. [usu. in sing.] an excessive amount of something; archaic. an illness caused or regarded as being caused by excessive eating or drinking
ruga – noun. A fold, crease, or wrinkle, as in the lining of the stomach
swage – noun. a shaped tool or die for giving a desired form to metal by hammering or pressure; 2. a groove, ridge, or other molding o an object 3. verb. shape (metal) using a swage, esp. in order to reduce its cross section.
And perhaps my favorite word:
usufruct – Noun. The right to enjoy and live or take residence upon another's property short of its destruction; serfdom
Please feel free to email me to request my complete personal dictionary/word list.
I think “Slippers” is kind of a nice word. I’m not sure why, it just sounds peaceful.
I have synaesthesia and, as such, I see words in color.
Anything with an “au” is a beautiful, deep scarlet: aurora, austere, August, aura, audio, the name Aurelia, etc. These are some of my favorite words.
I HATE the word “besides” and will go to great lengths to not use it. It’s a sickening, Pepto-like pink.
“Liar” is a beautiful word.
la blitz blatz
One of my favorite words is ‘marginal, or marginally.’ As in, “this is marginally acceptable.” Or “This candidate has a marginal understanding of what it will be like to be President.”
I don’t get to use it much, though I used it copiously in high school. Now almost 30 years later, I still love it. Also a favorite: ‘classic.’ Sounds crisp and pleasing.
i would like to add a few words to both categories:
1. Pulchritude- personally one of my favorites meaning beauty.
2. Fallal- sounds really attractive. It means ‘a finery’.
3. Ubiquitous- found everywhere.
4. Erubescent- a glowing red.
5. Zephyr- a cold breeze. (my ticket to a good impression on descriptive pieces!)
1. Dystopian- rather a dark word for bad or hellish.
2. Contumacious- stubborn.
3. Hydra- something emanating problems, a chain of problems such that when one is solved another appears.
4. Quelle horreur- French phrase used to exclaim a feeling of horror.
5. Soucouyant- a witch known from history.
Email me and perhaps we can exchange more delightful words. Follow me on instagram: @anshkalani . Thank you! Tell me what you think.
I think we need a list of beautiful words that don’t mean beautiful things. Heres a few I thought of. Sorry if my definitions are off.
Beautiful words that don’t match their meaning:
plebeian (lower class)
Loved the article until you asked.
What did I miss?
It’s what have I missed surely.
And Avuncular always leaves me with a nice warm feeling.
If ugly equates to annoying then the constant use of “ISSUE”, as a substitute noun for almost every other noun, would have to be high on my list.
Notice how many three-syllable words are in the beautiful lists? Human brains are respond positively to groups of three, and to a lesser extent to groups of four.
By contrast, one- and two-syllable words appear often in lists of ugly-sounding words.
With that said, the word with the most beautiful sound, in my opinion, is “axiom.”
The ugliest-sounding word, again in my opinion, is “gunk.”
And the funniest-sounding word, guaranteed to bring on giggles? “Flapdoodle.” (Again, three syllables) And that’s a fact.
In my opinion, there really aren’t any “ugly” words. I mean, words that seem ugly to one person, may be beautiful to another. Especially after reading all of the comments, I know that not all words are appealing. Some words may be appealing and have an unappealing definition, which will make somebody think that it’s ugly. That’s not completely true. Don’t let somebody tell you that a word is “ugly” just because they happen to think so, that doesn’t mean that you’re different. You like what you like, don’t let anybody’s opinion change yours.
Wessel François Smith
I am a logophile. I love nearly every word.
I love the word “lilt” and “Breathtaking” in Afrikaans it is “asem rowend” it sounds lovley. One word I struggled with was “Batrachomyomachy” its meaning is a good description of what was happening when I tried pronouncing it. Afrikaans speaking ^^,
Nemises is a word I love it sounds so romantic if you loast the pass meaning.
Nemisism not so romantic. I get annoyed with “sm” it’s like “smsmsm”. Joys of afrikaans.
The word I love the most is “Tranquillity”, it sounds powerful , evil, dark and scary but its meaning is serendipitous.
I’m glad this list is still going! Several people mentioned not caring for the word “moist.” It’s used as a character’s name in at least one Terry Pratchett novel (Going Postal, I think), and a henchman has that name in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
To me, it goes well with damp – another word that just doesn’t sound right. Too often both words are used to describe the palms of a nervous person.
Malaise: A feeling of general unease or discomfort.
Personally I find it wonderfully ugly. Conversely, I find ‘malady’ to be a very graceful word for something bad.
Also, ‘penultimate,’ meaning the one right before the final.
My list of ‘beautiful words’ include—
synergy, team, serene, holy, sacred, domain, compassion, converge,
An obscure one, but very evocative and onomatopoeic I think – ‘phantasmagoria’
‘a shfting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination’.
‘a changing scene made up of many elements’.
Call me Mr. Simple… We’ve all had three senses (hopefully no more) tell us: nothing is more ugly than diarrhea. And ugly fast, faster than projectile vomit, the fastest ugly in the world, maybe even the universe. Before you can think, blink or turn on the light….You know…
In a distant second place, “snot,” and not without a way-cool gross factor. A bright yellow snot bolo blow out of one nostril (the other plugged by the man’s stumped arm), spinning like a football kicked for a field goal, and it had the distance.
Some words that use to be synonymous with beautiful are now ugly and visa-versa. Like California… Sheit fire, done went Godzilla-fugly, and on the other hand, Vietnam… one beautiful country.
Being Irish, my four most beautiful words are: dogs, fishing, beer and women. And animals groups are pretty cool. A “murder” of crows, a “gaggle” of geese, a “litter” of pups, a “pod” of whales, a “covey” of quail, a “herd” of cows, a “case” of beer (just checking), a “school” of tuna, a “troop” of baboons (as long as you don’t see their red-puffed butts), a “rafter” of turkeys.
Time to go “sizzle” a couple of New York Strips, sides of “grilled” asparagus and “cheese-toast.” Got to thank my “curvy” red-headed neighbor for taking care of my dog.
Sluices. Exhaling air slowly through my teeth and then sliding my tongue to the roof of my mouth, slightly puckering my lips and then again making the air-through-the-teeth maneuver for me actually creates the vision and sound of the slippery movement of shallow water over flat rocks.
I’ve read up and down the comments and was surprised to not find this word, given that you experience the slightest ghost of the feeling just by reading it. It may just be me personally, but I find this to be an extremely evocative word.