What’s the best word in the English language?

As book-lovers, many of us have a thing for words. This weekend I asked our wise & wordy Facebook and Twitter fans to vote on their favorite word in the English language. Here are the top 10 results and the definition described by Merriam & Webster.

1. Serendipity: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

2. Shenanigans: tricky or questionable practices or conduct; or high-spirited or mischievous activity

3. Love: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; or warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion; or unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

4. Periwinkle: any of several trailing or woody evergreen herbs of the dogbane family; or  a light purplish blue

5. Ephemeral: lasting a very short time

6. Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation; or to expect with confidence

7. Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man

8. Onomatopoeia: the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it; or the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

9. Behooves: to be necessary, proper, or advantageous for

10. Yes: an affirmative reply

Is your favorite word included on this list? What is it and why?


  1. Hank Harris says:

    infracaninophile: A person who invariably roots for the underdog.

  2. polyglot – because it sounds fun and because I come from a polyglot family 🙂

  3. Prestidigitation! Not exclusively an English word (if memory serves, it’s spelled indentically in French, with the same meaning and a slightly more awesome pronunciation), but an excellent word nonetheless. 🙂

  4. edificionado – love of architecture and buildings – because it’s not in there yet!

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