What’s The Most Beautiful Word In English?

Dictionary.com is suggesting that the most beautiful word in English is “Serendipity.” While we love a good ice cream sundae, we’re going to suggest that that word just makes us think of the terrible Kate Beckinsale movie.

Besides, Dictionary.com is clearly mistaken, because the most beautiful word in English is fichu.

No, it’s a genuinely cool word. It refers to the kerchief that women in the 18th century wore to fill in low bodices. You see it come up in Dickens periodically in reference to people like Madame DeFarge. And it sounds like a combination between “tissue” and “fish”  which doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but makes it fun to say.  And the word is completely forgotten now because no one tries to cover up their bosom with a kerchief anymore, whereas, at the time, it would have been pretty much a wardrobe staple. It makes me think about a world where, in a 100 years, no one knows the word socks. You know. Bartertown.

I could be wrong, though. What’s your favorite word? I hope we can all agree that the world’s worst word is “moist.”

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    • Hannah Rose Siegel

      I love the word “televangelist.” It’s fun to say and instantly makes you giggle at the thought of crazed preachers on TV.

    • porkchop

      I like words like “exact” and “snow” because they sound like what they mean. The best example is “meow;” the cry of a cat is the same word in many languages. I love words.

    • jennifer

      wait wait wait…so a fichu is like a Cami Secret?

    • Amanda Chatel

      I love the word “liminal” because of how it rolls off my tongue and what it means: being transitional. Love it.

    • Beth

      I don’t know why, but since I was little I always liked saying the word “really”. Your mouth feels cool when you say it. Rrrr eaaaa leyyyy! I remember being a little kid and trying to say it a lot cause I liked it. It makes you smile too when you say it!

    • Stephanie

      ebullient– cheerful or bubbly.

      I thought about getting a tattoo of the word.

    • ALS

      I like the word “myriad.” It can be used as an adjective or a noun and “myriad stars glow in the sky at night,” just sounds so pretty.

    • hallohallo

      I love “atmosphere” best of all.

    • Meggeh

      Bread. Bread is my favorite word. It’s simple, common, but the way that the letters fit together to form the word is, I think, more elegant than any other oft-used word in English.

      When I was a child, I asked my mother, “Who invented the word ‘bread’?” At the usual parental loss of words when confronted with things unknown, my mother stammered, and then finally managed to ask me why I wanted to know such a thing.

      “Because,” I said, “I think I want to marry them.”

    • Nicole

      I HATE the word moist, always have. Thought it was just me!

      • Lilit Marcus

        I have banned that word from The Gloss.

    • Lindsay Cross

      This took a lot of careful deliberation. But I think my favorite is effervescent. I’m not even sure if I can explain why, but I think it sounds just like what it is.

    • Lurkeress

      I like oneiric.