Posted on: 21/09/2011 by

Sequoia Trees

A few years ago when I was studying for my Diploma in teaching English, I tried a small experiment with my class. I decided to look at what it was that made us like certain words so much. I even wrote about it on our old blog. Well, I thought it was high time we looked at this topic again so on the blog this week, I'm going to try the same experiment on you. Don't worry, all you need to do is answer two simple questions, and try not to think about the answers for too long. If you're ready then read on...

Question 1: What is your favourite word in your own language? 

Question 2: What is your favourite English word?

See, I told you it was simple.  What is interesting is why you chose the words you did.  It might be because of how the word looks written down.  It might be the sound of the word as you say it. It could be the feeling that you get about what the word represents. Or it could be something else completely.

It seems that I'm not the only person who is interested in this.  According to the website, the ten most favourite words are as follows:

1.  Idiosyncratic

2.  Flotilla

3.  Defenestrate

4.  Justice

5.  Bilious

6.  Ennui

7.  Nevertheless

8.  Blubber

9.  Mooncalf

10. Sequoia

How many of the words do you know?  I'd never heard of mooncalf (see below for a definition).  My favourite on this list is sequoia, which is a huge tree found in California (see the picture above).  I love how it is pronounced and how it has all the vowels in it, including four-in-a-row.  It also reminds me of deep red colours and pictures I saw when I was a child of these enormous trees.

Which word is your favourite? Why?  Let me know and check the meanings below. As the sound of the word is important here, I've included some notes on how to say them too.  Enjoy!

By Andy


idiosyncratic [id-ee-oh-sin-krat-ik] - (adj) unique, eccentric

flotilla [floh-til-uh] - (n.) a small group of naval vessels; a group moving together 

defenestrate [dee-fen-uh-streyt] - (v.) to throw a person or thing out of a window

justice [juhs-tis] - (n.) the quality of being right, fair or lawful

bilious [bil-yuhs] - (adj.) extremely unpleasant

ennui [ahn-wee] - (n.) a feeling of tiredness or unhappiness because of a lack of interest

nevertheless [nev-er-thuh-les] - (adv.) however

blubber [bluhb-er] - 1. (n.) fat on the body of a whale 2. (v.) to cry very loudly and uncontrollably

mooncalf [moon-kahf] - (n.) a foolish person, or a daydreamer

sequoia [si-kwoi-uh] - (n.) a large tree found in California that can grow to almost 100 metres high

Kategorien: Language and Learning



My favourite word was always Czechoslovakia, so was since it's split I only hear it when people mention the former Czechoslovakia


Cool topic Andy! I like all of the onomatopoeic words like 'crunch' and 'smack'.

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