Words beginning with "C"

 

Cacoethes.

I discovered the word cacoethes flipping through a dictionary playing a game about 15 years ago, and it has been my favorite ever since. It means an insatiable desire or urge. I always thought for such a guttural, ugly sound to mean something so delicious and delicate, it must be a special word. And that is why it's my favorite; it defies expectation.

Laura Frank

 

 

Cacophony.

Cacophony is my favorite word. When I hear it, I hear bells ringing, their tones clashing.

Richel Henkel

 

 

Calliope.

Calliope is a favorite word of mine, first. because it evokes childhood memories, smells and sounds of the circus! And second, because it's melodic and onomatopoeic!

Patricia O'Donnell

 

 

Callipygian.

The sound rolls off the tongue and always makes a person ask, "What does that mean?" Upon hearing the answer to their query, the most priceless moments are their reactions to said news. The word itself is a beautiful thing, taking roots from Grecian finesse. Ultimately, it is a word that can be used to deliver a compliment of the highest order while still retaining a bit of class.

Shaun Oen

 

 
Canada.

My favorite word is Canada.

The name Canada derives from a Huron-Iroquois word Kanata, which means village. Although Canada is the second largest country in the world and is consistently ranked in the top two countries in the world (first more often than not) for standard of living, we are still a village. Despite our landmass and huge source of natural resources, 80% of the population (just under 32 million) lives along the southern border -- as though we huddle for warmth from the US. We have a freedom of speech and thought, religion, education, and being that is enjoyed almost no where else in the world. I love it here, and understand that I am truly blessed to have been born Canadian.

Lorelei Simpson

 

 

Catenary.

Catenary is my favorite word ever since my boyfriend signed off in an email "a catenary of kisses draped across your back." It seems scientific and sexy at the same time, plus it sounds like a combination of cat and canary, which is funny.

Andrea

 

 

Cattywhompus.

This delicious word means crooked, skewed, cockeyed, or otherwise just plain not right.  I often heard it from Ike, an old black labor foreman down in the Deep South USA. He had four men rolling a large chunk of concrete, leftovers from a bridge building project, up a hillside. They bent down to get their arms up under an edge, then he counted off, "One...two...three...cornbread!" The men reared up and threw the big rock over and busted out laughing. Next time he cried, "One...two...three...red beans!" Flop! And they all just about fell over laughing once more. Collard greens! Spicy coon! Black-eyed peas! They worked their way on up the hill, laughing as they went. When the big rock got out of line Ike would call out, "All right now! Twist that ole rock around! Can't you see she's all cattywhompus? All right now! Everything's gonna be all right!" Old Ike had lots of nonsense words that sounded as natural as could be in his blessed voice.

Michael

 

 

Cerulean.

My first favorite is cerulean. When I was in elementary school I read a book which had a doll with cerulean blue eyes. Being only ten or so, I had no idea of what the word meant. To me, it meant the doll had the most beautiful eyes in the world. Cerulean held mystique and the promise of oriental lands. I was disappointed, at first, to realize that cerulean referred to a color.  However, the word still evokes memories of childhood and the pleasures of reading.

Lauren Goodwyn

 

 

Characteristic.

My favorite word is characteristic for the way it falls on the ear, for the sheer rhythmic beauty of it and not the meaning. When I say it aloud crisply, I feel the pulse of a tango in my soul.

The first time I felt an affinity for the word was during an early trimester in college, when I heard the way my professor of "Voice for Performance" spoke it with such flair. I could hear the castanets clicking in the background, and have loved the word ever since.

Suzi K.

 

 

Chronological.

I love so many things about this word - it denotes order and organization but does it in such a rhythmical, "roll off your tongue" kind of way. It's one of those words that sounds exactly as it means... what is there not to love?

Jods

 

 

Circumlocution.

Circumlocution is my favorite word (for today) because... well... I love words. Why use one lonely word when you can have a word party? While the rest of the world casts a frown on redundancy, I shall instead celebrate it. The more the merrier, I say. (And I believe I might be in good company here.)

Kate

 

 

Coalesce.

Is there a sound in English better than the "esce" in this word and others? Maybe it's all in my head, but it's so much better than "ess." And this is my favorite "esce" word, since it's so much more graceful than its synonyms (merge? amalgamate? unify? They're all terrible), and whenever you see it something really amazing is happening.

Casey

 

 

Colimacon.

Thanks to Charlie Brown translated to French, my favorite word is colimacon. It is pronounced coal-ee-maason and means spiral staircase. It is part of an idiom escalier en colimacon; escalier being a staircase and a colimacon is a snail. Get the idea? The abbreviated idiom is simply "colimacon" and is known to every French kid from age 5 to 95. Ha! Once I learned it the French took me into their hearts. Thank you Charlie Brown. Idioms are the language. John Bridell, Minneapolis, MN.

John Bridell

 

 

Conflagration.

One of my most favorite words is conflagration.

When I was young, my father accidentally set fire to our kitchen. It was a simple grease fire -- not much harm done, just a blackened ceiling, which caused us to have to pull out the hideous lowered ceiling (an improvement).

At the time my father used this word and I latched onto it. I love how descriptive it can be. Ever since then, I have used it to mean not only a fire, but a really messed-up situation.

Tessa

 

 

Constabulary.

The stress change among the syllables when you add the suffix and the B among those soft sounds gives the word a gentle rolling sensation.

Dean

 

 

Contradict.

Although I am now Australian, I was born in Scotland.

My father was serving in the British Army when we returned to Southampton Docks from a tour of duty in Hong Kong.

Of course, we had to undergo Customs inspection.

I was taught never to lie.

The Customs Officer asked my mother the quantity of cigarettes and alcohol she was declaring.

My mother answered the correct amount.

My father was then asked the same question, and when he answered incorrectly I spoke up.

"No you haven't Dad. You've got X amount."

I learned my first big word that day from the uniformed Customs Officer.

He was a tall man and I was only a small boy.

I can still see him in mind's eye.

He leaned towards me, pointing his right index finger and said "Boy, never contradict your parents."

I know today what contradict means and I heeded his advice.

David Cochrane, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 

 

Conundrum.

I love this word for its connotation. It validates my emotions when I have a small problem by making the problem sound important and worthy of my attention to it, and yet the problem is usually easily solved. I also like to use this word when I have a big problem for the same reason. It acknowledges the importance of the problem while reminding me that a solution is close at hand. I use this word with my Writer's Craft class when I ask students to choose, define and defend their favourite word.  (That's how we spell "favorite" in Canada, but that's another topic!)

Patti Haygarth, Burlington, Ontario

 

 

Covenant.

Because the word implies more than a promise. It is a spiritual pact between two people, or God and His people (as symbolized by the rainbow in the sky after the 40 days of rain in the story of Noah's ark). I would like to think my marriage vows were a covenant between my husband and I. The word just sounds holy and implies that it will never end, just like God's love for us never ends.

Amy

 

 

Crapulence.

My favorite word is crapulence (a state of extreme drunkenness) because it is just plain fun to say. Also, not many people know what it means, which makes it all the more fun to use.

Cassie Taylor

 

 

Credenza.

I like the sound and feel of the word, but mostly I like its etymology. It comes from the same root as "credentials" and was used to describe a sideboard on which food was placed for a king's food taster to test, proving it was not poisoned. Who knew that a fancy word for a common piece of furniture had such a dark history?

Rich Simon

 

 

Credit.

Taken from the Latin word credo which means "I believe" So when someone has a high credit score and the bank says "I believe you" and reward him/her with low interest rates, you know where it originated.

Mike Nilsson

 

 

Crepuscular.

My other favorite word is crepuscular. I like this word because of its odd sound. It seems like it ought to have something to do with anatomy. I also like the imagery it produces; "a crepuscular dawn" was my first introduction to the word. When I consulted my handy, dandy dictionary I discovered, to my disappointment, that the author was only being redundant.

Lauren Goodwyn

 

 

Cunctation.

First, it's fun to say - the syllables skip along the tongue. Second, the combination of its sounding like a "dirty" word, combined with the fact that few people know it, makes it especially fun to use around colleagues who are arrogant without reason. It is particularly fun in conjunction with absquatulate, as in "I shall now absquatulate without further cunctation."

Erica Stoecker

 

 

Curmudgeon.

My favorite word is Curmudgeon, "a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas." I like it because whether saying the word out loud or in my head it immediately paints a picture of an old man, bent over with age, with a cane in one hand and a scowl on his face. While I suppose women could be curmudgeons also, I can't bring myself to imagine a picture of one. Nor would I ever want to meet up with one.

John Wolfe

 

 

Curmudgeon.

 Because it sounds like exactly what it means and it gives me something to aim for in my old(er) age.

Andrew Bools

 

 
Cute.

My favorite word is cute.

Because it is soooo CUTE.

Ulhas Vaidya

 
 

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