Dictionary.com

dictionaryI love learning new words! I know, I’m crazy. But after discovering words that I’d never seen before in all the books I’ve been devouring, I decided to be more proactive with my vocabulary. I found a great app from Dictionary.com for my phone. Every day it sends me a new word to learn its meaning, pronunciation, origin, and even synonyms and antonyms for it. I have to admit that so far most of these new-to-me words haven’t been found in any of the books I’ve been reading, but I have found some utilized in a Stephen King novel and even the Game of Thrones book series.

mary poppinsPlus, there are some words too amazing to think I might have deprived myself of ever knowing their existence. Like “floccinaucinihilipilification.” The first moment I saw this word, I thought of Mary Poppins’ “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Of course, Mary’s million-dollar-word was completely imagined. “Floccinaucinihilipilification” is actually a real word – not that anyone ever uses it that I can find. It’s a noun Latin in origin and means the estimation of something as valueless. But even if you understand its definition, you’re more likely to use it “as an example of one of the longest words in the English language” according to Dictionary.com’s app. The best part of this particular new vocab word is listening to the app pronounce it for you. It sounds more like a medical diagnosis than a word that refers to something as valueless.

I enjoy experimenting with new vocabulary. Of course to add a ton of 20-letter words just for the sake of it adds nothing to my writing and only confuses the reader. But I do like adding one or two uncommon words to challenge my readers.

Sometimes I find that I like a word just because it sounds funny. “Bumper” sounds very funny to me when you repeat it. “Blubber” and “shrubbery” also make me grin. There is too many favorites for me to list without simply boring you all to death. So just don’t be lackadaisical.

Do you have any favorites?