There’s a beauty in language in that when you ask someone what their favourite word in English is the results are eclectic, poetic and exotic.
Emeritus Professor Roly Sussex is someone with a long-standing love affair with language, but not just English; he also speaks German, French, Russian, Polish, Czech and Latin. He regularly talks about words, their meanings and their heritage on a podcast with ABC radio.
A quick whip around the Starts at 60 office revealed some unusual favourites.
Onomatopoeia meaning the formation of a word by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its reference, such as cuckoo, meow, honk or boom.
Consulate the premises officially occupied by a consul.
Relish which is both a noun (liking or enjoyment of the taste of something; related to cookery, such as something savoury or appetising added to a meal; or a pleasing or enjoyable quality) and a verb (to take pleasure in; to have taste of flavour; or to be agreeable).
Serendipity the aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune; luck.
Ubiquitous meaning being everywhere, especially at the same time.
Kerfuffle a fuss, commotion.
Many words are seemingly chosen because they are fun, playful, quirky or lexically (a word of Greek origin that essentially means ‘of or relating to items of vocabulary in a language) appealing.
You might also be drawn to your favourite word from another language, which according to Babbel is much like a love for food from other cultures. The exotic sounds and the way a foreign word rolls off the tongue can draw you in and create a certain romanticism, even if the word is offensive or ill-meaning.
Everyone can — and does — have an opinion.