As a writer, I of course love words. I love words for their individual meanings, the way they work with other words in a sentence or a paragraph. I love how a single word at the right time can elicit strong emotion or deep thought. And some words just sound beautiful, too.
I wrote a post a while back about a few of my favorite words (note – only one word on that list is in my native language of English). So on this list, I’m including two words from my favorites list, plus three others that I think are beautiful in both sound and meaning.
Ljósmóðir – literally translated from the Icelandic, this word means “light-mother,” but it’s used as the term for “midwife.” Not only does it sound beautiful to the ear, but the definition embodies the beauty of bringing new light and life into the world.
Threnody – a song of lament. While the definition is sad, to me the word sounds like it holds beauty – like a dirge or lament that celebrates the life of someone, rather than just mourning the loss.
Laulu – to me, this word itself sounds very musical, which is appropriate, as it’s the Finnish word for “song.”
Evanescence – Yes, like the band. This word means to disappear, fade away, or evaporate into mist. The sound and the meaning has an ethereal quality, which may be why it makes a good name for a band.
Jellicle – Okay, so this one isn’t a “real” word, per se. It was invented by T.S. Eliot and used in several of his poems in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. I’ve always loved the word “jellicle” and Eliot’s description of it to define the unique traits and quirks of cats. To understand the full definition of “jellicle,” I suggest you read the poem “The Song of the Jellicles.” Or just listen to one of the songs from the musical Cats.
What are some of your favorite beautiful words?