What’s in your vocabulary? What words or phrases do you think sound beautiful? And what words are simply gross? The wordsmiths at Dictionary posed those questions on their blog, The Hot Word. (Yeah, I think it’s kind of cute, too.)
The whole thing started when they announced what is commonly considered the most beautiful word or phrase in the English language: cellar door.
People said, “Whaat?”
Yup, according to those who make it their business to study the pleasantness (euphony) or the unpleasantness (cacophony) of sound, cellar door has just the right combo of sounds that make it most pleasing to the ear.
Edgar Allen Poe seems to agree with the combo as he gets pretty close with nevermore, forgotten lore, and chamber door. But their blog readers have different ideas, choosing words whose both meanings and sounds are beautiful to them.
Serendipity is most often submitted for the most beautiful (along with scissors, fudge, epiphany, languorous, voluptuous, ambrosia, and melancholy). Many believe moist is among the grossest (along with flaccid, juice, wasps, nugget, morsel, pork, vomit, acrylic, gooey, oyster, egg, and sludge).
The moral of this story is name your 2011 baby Celadora. I’d stay away from Moist.