Favorite/least-favorite words

We’re cooking and we’re copying, but we’re a little sick of lecturing. We’re breaking up the weekly lessons with our new column: Caro’s and Lauren’s favorite and least-favorite words! We’ll post updates as we find new words we like/hate. It’s quick and easy, and, hey, who doesn’t like a good list?

Lauren’s List (definitions courtesy of Webster.com)


  • Splendid: excellent.
  • Spiffy: fine looking, smart.
  • Pantaloons: three definitions, all about pants. Makes me think of pirates. ‘Nuff said.
  • Hellacious: I didn’t even know this but there are four definitions: 1. exceptionally powerful or violent; 2. remarkably good (isn’t that odd?); 3. extremely difficult; 4. extraordinarily large.
  • Magnificent: exceptionally fine. It’s so grand!
  • MacGuffin: an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance. What a great word to say.
  • Snuffle: 1. to snuff or sniff usually audibly and repeatedly; 2.to breathe through an obstructed nose with a sniffing sound. I’m a sucker for cute-sounding “ff” sounds.


  • Chassis: the supporting frame of a structure. I HATE THE WORD CHASSIS! As Caro informed me last week, the word is not spelled phonetically like I originally thought (read: chassy, (it even looks awful)). At my house we’re deep in the throes of buying a new car and if there’s one thing dealers like to talk about it’s the chassis of their vehicles—if I hear this word one more time I will slap someone.
  • Purge: to get rid of. My mom uses it with the correct meaning but all it does is evoke images of bulimia. Not a fan. Can’t we just say “clean out” or “get rid of”?
  • Moist: not even going to go there.
  • Crunch: It isn’t this word that’s so bad. It’s the fact that people do strange things when pronouncing it. The originator of the butchered pronunciation is Giada De Laurentiis; if she says “chhrunchhhh” one more time, heads are going to roll.

Caro’s List (in no particular order)


  • “Oodle” words: Noodle. Doodle. Poodle. Caboodle. Canoodle. Oodles. Toodles. You love them, too. I know it. Don’t deny.
  • Ethereal: The first time I ever tried to decide what my favorite word was when I applied to Princeton for undergrad. (They asked for it. Random, yeah?) I couldn’t pick a word, so I closed my eyes, opened my dictionary to a random page, put my finger down on it, opened my eyes, and found myself pointing to “ethereal.” Realized I LOVE it, and it’s been a favorite since.
  • Architecture: I can’t really explain this one. I just like it, a lot.

Least Favorites:

  • Moist: This is on everyone’s least-favorite words list. No explanation needed.
  • Crusty: Ugh. Is this ever used flatteringly? “Thanks for the pizza, Mike! It was super crusty!” or “Man, the crusty edges of this casserole are the best!” Like… no.
  • Chunky: Ewww. I am cringing. Just awful.
  • Comfortable: Do you know why I hate this word? Because I am 22 years old, and I am STILL not sure how to pronounce it. Some say, “come-fruh-ble,” some say “come-thra-ble”… I went through a phase sometime around age 10 when I insisted on pronouncing every syllable. (“Oh, what a come-fort-uh-ble couch.”) I don’t know. I can’t figure it out. I just say “comfy” now.

This is the world as it sits right now. We’ll be back to you with more fun next week. Until then, adios and have a lovely fall weekend!

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