Linkage Activiation

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Is A Rather Weak Cull, But It Is Done.

Here is a subjective/tentative list of my top fifty favorite pretty words, it'll be edited with info as the days pass. I pretty much just selected them in an arbitrary, callous way.

Prettiest Words, Culled

Balustrade: architectural term, series of balusters or parapet
Aestival: pertaining to, relating, designating, or of Summer
Chantpleure: to cry while singing, to cry and sing simultaneously
Silhouette: picture as an outline, often a human profile, filled in by a solid color
Taciturn: reticent, quiet, not talkative, insouciant
Celeripedean: quick-footed, swift, fast-running
Niveous: snowy or resembling snow, like, of, relating to, or made of snow
Veracity: truth, state of being true, trueness
Halcyon: legendary kingfisher, tranquil, calm, without strife, serene
Chiaroscuro: composition of strong contrasts in light and dark
Peccadillo: insignificant sin or wrongdoing, trifling fault
Novitiate: novice, the living place of a novice, the state of being a novice, neophyte
Nullibicity: state of non-existence, quality or state of being nowhere
Oeuvre: the corpus of an author, canon, or a collective symposium
Psithurisma: whisper, sound of wind through the trees, sound of wind-rustled leaves
Tessellation: tile pattern sans gaps or extraneous spaces, mathematical pattern
Videlicet: to wit, that is, namely
Sempiternal: eternal, endless, lasting forever, ceaseless
Banderilla: decorated dart that is shot into the neck of the bull during a bull fight
Lixiviation: act of separating soluble from insoluble substances via water or solvent
Sisyphean: pertaining to or involving endless labor, pertaining to Sisyphus
Cerulean: watery blue
Empyreal: related to the empyrean, celestial
Acervuline: aggregated, heaped up, bundled, collected or localized
Echelon: tier, level, rank in job, formation of soldiers
Coracle: small rounded boat made of waterproof material stretched over a frame
Dyslexia: disorder in which lexical figures are perceived in a chaotic order
Bijouterie: general plural of trinkets or jewelry, gallery thereof, display thereof
Apoplexy: stroke, impairment or neuralgia from cerebral hemorrhage
Nepheliad: cloud nymph, nymph designated or of the clouds
Esssse: pl. archaic plural of ashes
Craquelure: fine pattern of dense cracking formed on the surface of paintings
Esculent: edible, able or safe to be eaten
Cordillera: group of mountain ranges forming a mountain system of great linear extent
Sidereal: of, related, pertaining to, or determined by the stars or constellations
Nenuphar: a water lily, especially an Egyptian lotus
Leitmotif: musical passage associated to a specific situation, character, or idea
Dulcinea: sweetheart, lovely person, one whom a person loves or cares about
Tristiloquy: speech characterized by sadness or gloominess
Diablerie: dealing with the devil or devils, witchcraft, sorcery, consorting with demons
Querencia: the area of the bull-ring where the bull makes its stand
Cerumen: yellow, wax-like secretion from the external ears, “earwax”
Hacienda: the main building of a farm or ranch
Clithridiate: keyhole-shaped, resembling a keyhole
Aquarelle: painting done in transparent watercolors, watercolor, watercolor painting
Artemisia: type of plant, genus of aromatic shrubs or herbs
Winceyette: cotton cloth, cloth made of cotton that has a raised surface
Impluvium: of a Roman house, rectangular pool in an atrium used to gather rain water
Cascarilla: West Indian shrub with aromatic bark, typically used in incense or tonics
Embarcadero: a landing place, especially a landing place on an island waterway


  1. Excellent list! How do you come across so many unusual words? I was thinking how some words are beautiful not only because of how they sound, but because of their meaning. But then I came to 'Cerumen'!

  2. I just became attracted to the idea of "collecting" words. Read so many dictionaries as a child and even now. The meaning and beauty of the word often correlates. Then again, I think "suicide" is a beautiful word, but most seem to disagree.

  3. Phonetically beautiful and beautiful for the dramatic literary connotations, I think. I'm looking forward to reading your 'ugliest words'.