By Denise Doty 04/11/16
Some people like certain words because of the way they roll off their tongue. Others prefer certain words for their pronunciation and yet another group of people like words for their meaning, usually a word meaning or concept that doesn’t exist in their own native tongue. So I decide to research what are some favorite words of others. What I discovered was a fun way to learn more vocabulary words. The following lists are words that I found on the internet when I asked “What is your favorite word?”
Favorite Spanish words
Colibrí — hummingbird
Ñáñaras — like the heebiejeebies, or more technically, the feeling you get when something is unpleasant, strange, creepy or unsettling.
Ánfora — an amphora, a specific type of pottery design.
Parabrisas – windshield or “to stop breezes”.
Paraguas – umbrella or “to stop water”
Quitaesmalte – a combination of quitar and esmalte that means “nail polish remover”.
Lavaplatos – from lavar and platos meaning “dishwasher”.
Tutear – It comes from the pronoun tú and means “to address informally” (meaning using the tú form.)
Libélula. – dragonfly
Mañana -“ loves the ña sound”. Means “Tomorrow” or “Morning”
Basta – Enough.
Ojalá – I hope / God willing (same meaning as Oh Allah / Insallah)
orale – Mexican word that means “hell yeah” or “right on”
Centella – spark or grease lightning
Soñar – to dream
Anochecer (nightfall) also beautiful in English
Escarcha – frost
Truenos y relámpagos – thunder and lightning
Espeluznante – terrifying, blood-curdling
Favorite English words
Epitome – a typical or ideal example. (Spanish – paradigma )
Illusion – something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real. (Spanish -ilusión)
Incandescence – glow, illumination. (Spanish – incandescencia )
Efflorescence – the period or state of flowering. (Spanish – florecimiento)
Flare – a bright, brief light, flash of anger, a light that signals caution. (Spanish – resplandor, estallar, luz de emergencia)
Particular – used to indicate that one specific person or thing. Spanish – particular )
Earthy – soil in texture, odor, color, etc. Or open and direct. (Spanish – a tierra, práctico /a
Scald – to burn (someone or something) with hot liquid or steam. (Spanish – escaldar a )
Molten – fused or liquefied by heat. (Spanish – fundido/a)
Quackery – the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. (Spanish –
Quack – a fraudulent or ignorant pretender of having medical skill. (Spanish – Curandero,
Serendipity – The meaning of the word, good luck in finding valuable things unintentionally, refers to the fairy tale characters who were always making discoveries through chance. (Spanish – carambola, serendipia)
Discombobulate – to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate: (Spanish – confundir a)
Petrichor – The distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell. (Spanish – Petricor, el olor que produce la lluvia al caer en los suelos secos)
Pedantic – someone who’s too concerned with literal accuracy or formality. It’s a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way. (Spanish – pedante)
Aggrandizement – The act of increasing the wealth or prestige or power or scope of something. (Spanish – engrandecimiento)
Phantom – soul of a dead person. (Spanish – Fantasma)
Oblivion – the state of being unconscious or unaware : the state of not knowing what is going on around you. (Spanish – olvido)
Lineage – the people who were in someone’s family in past times. (Spanish – linaje,
Knight – a soldier in the past who had a high social rank and who fought while riding a horse and usually wearing armor. (Spanish – caballero)
Melancholy – a pensive mood (Spanish – melancolía)
Serenity – calmness, hush, peace, peacefullness. (Spanish – serenidad)
Elixir – something that cures all ills or problems. (Spanish – elixir)
Ricochet – to bounce off a surface and continue moving in a different direction. (Spanish –
Reminiscent – provoking a memory or mental association. (Spanish – reminiscente de)
Tantamount – equivalent in seriousness to. (Spanish – equivalente)
Vicissitude – the quality or state of being changeable. (Spanish – vicisitud)
Clandestine – done in a private place or way : done secretly (Spanish – clandestino/a)
My favorite words
Ludicrous- very foolish. (Spanish – ridículo/a) I like the sound of it.
Favourite – a person or a thing that is liked more than others. (Spanish – favorito/a) I like how British use the letter “u”.
Shenanigan – high-spirited or mischievous activity. (Spanish – travesuras) I like what this word means and sounds.
Snowbirds – someone who spends the winter months in a warm place. (Spanish – ave migratoria) This is what I dream of being every winter.
Chevere: cool / awesome My first Colombian word I learned. I associate this word with good memories.
Diablura – prank I like that it looks like the English word devil.
Baca – In Colombia, it is something very, very, good or nice or cool. Another awesome word that I associate with good memories.
Chusco/a – In Colombia it means cute. I love the sound of this word.
Generally speaking, it is best to learn words that center around a concept or idea together, such as, learning: chair, table, couch, and lamp together, as they are all pieces of furniture. However, having said that, this was a fun and interesting detour in increasing not only my Spanish vocabulary but my native tongue vocabulary.
Tell me, what are some of your favorite words?