Ten Great Words You Should Know and Use

I am an unabashed logophile (n. – lover of words). The English language is a tough one to master even for those of us who have been using it our whole life. For some this is merely frustrating. For others her idiosyncrasies make English fascinating and multifarious (adj. – ‘to having many parts; diverse and varied’). And yet the typical person in our culture uses only a scintilla (n. – a small fraction; a minute particle or trace) of this resplendent (adj. – gleaming, splendid, shining), language. We might try and church it up every now and then, trying to find a synonym at thesaurus.com, but wouldn’t it be fun to replace our palaver (n. – empty talk, babble, chatter), with a more erudite (adj. – characterized by great knowledge, learned or scholarly), vocabulary?

So here are ten great words you should know and use. Chances are you have some of them in your regular rotation, but there might be something here you can use. Here are my criteria: 1) The word must be just a bit out of the mainstream – something you don’t typically hear in normal day to day usage. These are nerdy words, 2200 SAT words. 2) The word must have some utility in everyday conversation or writing. They would provide color and precision in our normal topics of conversation. 3) The wildcard. The word must be fun to say. Some words really roll off the tongue. Say desultory out loud and tell me that’s not fun.

Life’s too short to have a crappy vocabulary! Here are 10 words to add to yours!

Vituperative – harsh and abusive. (My supervisor’s vituperative ranting is the reason he is currently eating brownies I made with Ex-Lax.)

Exigent – requiring immediate action. (Your exigent problem will not become my daily emergency.)

Prevaricate – to intentionally mislead or create a false impression. (I actually heard a politician speak without prevarication… just kidding.)

Antipathy – intense dislike or hostility. (Thanks, boss! My antipathy toward you has never been more intense than it is right now!)

Desultory – aimless, haphazard, digressing at random, no purpose or plan. (Their desultory approach could be the reason the House of Representatives has an approval rating of 10%.)

Spurious – lacking authenticity, fake, not genuine, false, of illegitimate birth. (The televangelist spouting his spurious drivel is, nevertheless, extremely rich.)

Perfidious – unfaithful, deceptive, disloyal. (My perfidious first wife got the house, the car, and your future inheritance… sorry son.)

Foment – to instigate or incite. (Princess Lea helped to foment the rebellion and take down the Empire.)

Capricious – given to whim. (My nine year old can be capricious; my financial planner cannot.)

Nostrum – a medicine sold with false claims and no demonstrable value, snake oil. (We don’t need another nostrum, we need real tax reform.)

Ten Great Words – Part 02

Ten Great Words – Part 03

Ten Great Words – Part 04

Ten Great Words – Part 05

 

 

About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at TimSuttle.com

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of RedemptionChurchkc.com. He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • scott stone

    While I appreciate the introduction to new words, that’s a rather depressing list. Notice a theme?

  • http://www.yeshua21.com Wayne

    Matthew 5:37 :)

    On the sunny shores of the Carribean
    Are brawny lads all herculean
    And bonnie lasses callipygian
    A beautiful sight and well worth seein’ ;)

  • Pingback: Ten Great Words You Should Know and Use – Part 02

  • DarthYoda

    Here’s one.
    Coprophagous — adj. eating crap. As in: He wore a coprophagous grin.


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