February 11, 2012

Juicy Words That Stick To Your Bones

A good friend of mine said to me she loved the way a particular author used good words, "juicy words that stick to your bones." As I writer I've developed an eye and ear for these words and want to share some of my favorites that made me go "Whoa, that is a juicy word!" and then hear some of yours.

Incredulous - a wonderful adjective that means 1. Disbelieving; skeptical 2. Expressing disbelief (Garnered from author Stephenie Meyer)

Castigate - a fantastic verb that means 1. To punish or chastise 2. To criticize severely. (Garnered from author Karen Witemeyer)

Perpetuity - a noun derived from it's adjective cousin perpetual, that means 1. The quality, state, or condition of being perpetual 2. Time without end; eternity (Garnered from a memo at the day job.)

Portend - a strong verb that means 1. To serve as an omen or warning of; presage 2. To indicate or suggest (Garnered from one of my favorite computer games of all time, Rome: Total War)

Quintessence - a noun that most people have always heard or seen in another form, quintessential, and knowing what quintessence actually means makes that word even more powerful. Quintessence is 1. The pure and concentrated essence of a substance 2. The most perfect embodiment of something 3. The fifth essence or element of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Garnered from dictionary reading.)

Officious - an adjective that means 1. Forward in tendering or obtruding one's services upon others 2. Marked by or proceeding from such forwardness (Garnered from dictionary reading.)

And I saved the juiciest word for last.

Paraleipsis (also spelled paralipsis) - a wonderful noun that not even spell check recognizes and is in only one of my three print dictionaries. Paraleipsis is a pretended or apparent omission for rhetorical effect; a figure by which a speaker artfully pretends to pass by what he really mentions; as, for example, if an orator should say, "I do not speak of my adversary's scandalous venality and rapacity, his brutal conduct, his treachery and malice." (Garnered in a game of Balderdash, which anyone who writes should be very good at playing!)

So let's have them. What are some of your best juicy words, good words that stick to your bones? You get bonus gold stars for sharing how you learned them. =)

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Hmm. I’m not sure if I have any juicy words for writing. I can tell you this—having to keep a dictionary by my side while reading a novel for enjoyment is not my idea of a fun time! So, a couple “juicy” words sprinkled throughout the novel are fine; otherwise, like pepper, a little goes a long way!

Cogitate – 1. to think hard; ponder; meditate: to cogitate about a problem. 2. to think about; devise: to cogitate a scheme.

I don’t remember exactly where we saw this word. I think it was the “word of the day” on a calendar, but I remember our family got a real charge out of it, finding a way to use it every time we got together.

So there you go. :p