An African In Transition.
|A few entries ago I wrote about the most beautiful words in the English language "The Most Beautiful Word In The English Language." . There were some excellent responses and contributions, and I went through our lists to find out which words featured most frequently. In not particular order the following words featured more than once:
whisper, giggle, love, mother
So today’s entry focuses on the other side of the subject: The Ugliest Words In the English Language.
While thinking about this entry today I realised how easy it would be to list words that we personally find offensive. By this I mean words like racist or murder, as these are words that are ugly because of the unpleasant subjects to which they pertain. Don’t get me wrong – these words are really ugly and would probably feature on anyone’s list even if their meaning was different. But take at look at this list of the ten worst-sounding English words, compiled by the National Association of Teachers of Speech way back in August 1946:
CACOPHONY, CRUNCH, FLATULENT, GRIPE, JAZZ, PHLEGMATIC, PLUMP, PLUTOCRAT, SAP, TREACHERY.
Of that list just four words are not associated with something bad, negative or depressing. What did Crunch, Jazz, Plump and Sap ever do to anyone? Does this mean that these words really are ugly, because although their meaning isn’t necessarily negative they just sound so ugly?
The 1990’s edition of The Book Of Lists (I need this book!!!) is a bit more sensible. Proving that perhaps we do evolve as time mores on the ten ugliest English words are:
AASVOGEL, BROBDINGNAGIAN, CACOPHONOUS, CREPUSCULAR, FRUCTIFY, GARGOYLE, JUKEBOX, KAKKAK, KUMQUAT, QUAHOG. Don’t ask me what some of these words mean – they’re so ugly to read I doubt many self respecting dictionaries would include them!!!
My least favourite words are: APE, BLAND, COIL, FOUL/FOWL, GRAB, GROPE, HANDSOME, MAMMARY, NOUGHT, PRETTY, ROBUST, SKULL, STERILE, STINK, VOMIT, UGLY
Took me a while to think of these, and I had to force myself not to use PlannerDan ’s least favourite word... you know, that one beginning with a B! Plus there are a few swear words I’d love to have used, but that’s cheating. It’s very hard indeed not to use a word that has a horrible meaning, like gangrene or decapitate. So I’d like to ask if you can think of a few UGLY words. Words that are not only unpleasant to the ear, but words you find so repugnant (another ugly word!) you try not to use them in your writing! Or words that seem so bland and asnine (like pretty or handsome) that you will flip through your thesaurus just to find another word to use in its place.
I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.
Winston Churchill, English Statesman and Prime Minister. 1874 to 1965