Ever run across some really cool words that stick in your long-term memory? Here are some of my favorites:
Tintinnabulation: As in E.A. Poe’s ‘Tintinnabulation of the bells’. This cool word is fictitious, of course, and falls under the heading of ‘Onomatopoeia’, another cool word, which means the word verbally expresses its meaning through the way it sounds. ‘Smooth’, ‘slithery’ and ‘slippery’ may also be considered examples of Onomatopoeia. Cooool!
Sluggish: I like words like sluggish. You can almost feel the slimy, crawling weight of it. Examples of other words that fall under the same category are ‘broached’, ‘parched’, ‘scorched’, ‘hammered’ and ‘gooned’. These are all great words to describe dehydration and dysfunction from a variety of self-inflicted sources.
Military jargon: Wanna be the cool kid on the block? Use military jargon like ‘affirmative and negative’ instead of yes and no, and alphabet phonetics like ‘Tango-Charlie’, ‘Upshot-Knothole’, ‘Bravo-X-ray’ and ‘Delta-Foxtrot’. Everyone will think you’re a secret agent with an exclusive vocabulary. Just don’t get you’re phonetics confused as in ‘Knuckle-Xylophone’, or you’ll come across as a Major-Wiener head.
Scientific words: Highly complicated scientific words can make you come across as a genius, even if you got an 19 or lower on the ACT. I like words that my local weatherman, Andre Bernier, uses on TV, like ‘synoptic’, brainy phrases like ‘for all intensive purposes’, and imported Italian words like ‘cumuli-nimbus’, ‘cirrostratus’ and ‘alto-cirrus’. Pepper your conversation with these words, and you’ll either gain the envy and respect of your peers, or you’ll get the crap kicked outta you for being Perfesser Geek. That’s the danger with scientific words. They can go either way.
Rap words: Rap words are easy to spot. Like ‘Coolio’, ‘Busta-Rhyme’, ‘B-Dawg,’ ‘Ice Cube’ and ‘Ghostbuster-B’. These words are actually forms of Onomatopoeia, conveying a strong visual and emotional sensation through the way they sound, just as the words in Rap lyrics are intended to. I’m not a big fan of Rap, but I’ll give Rap artists an A- for finding words that evoke emotion and demand attention, for better or for worse.
Associated Content: What could be cooler? Hoot!