Words beginning with "P"

 
Papoose.

My favorite word is papoose. Why? I love the way it makes the "puh" sound in the "pa" and the "poose."  It feels good to say out loud. It also conjures up images of small smiling babies hanging around with mother in nature.

Diane Cannon

 

 

Paramaribo, Suriname.

I pronounce them with the accents on the ri and name. (And I really don't want to know if that is not correct--I prefer blissful ignorance.)  It is actually the capital of a small South American country (formerly Dutch Guiana). It is the most melodic place name I have ever come across. It sounds like the first words of a Latin dance song. Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, is second.

Jim Wayne

 

 

Peace.

It speaks for itself and covers a thousand things, personal, mental, environment, international relations and the hopes and aspirations of all sane human beings.

Andrew

 

Penultimate.

I first encountered this as a teen when I read Philip K. Dick's "The Penultimate Truth." Years later, my wife and I started using it as a joke: Sometimes we would read trashy horror novels for fun (Dean Koontz, et. al.) and these novels often (attempt to) deal with "ultimate evil." However, the chosen portrayals of this evil never seem to be very ultimate (big spiders, aliens, whatever). So, my wife and I started joking that it was only penultimate evil -- and, like Avis, it's #2 so it tries harder.

Rich Simon

 

 

Penultimate.

Although penultimate has a mundane meaning -- next to last -- it carries an exciting connotation. It's the delicious feeling of being almost done with a novel; it's the next to the last chapter in which you know the ending, but you don't have to say goodbye to the characters quite yet. Or the next to the last step in a project that show you exactly the painting or sewing or woodworking result, but you still have the fun of creating.

I learned this word my senior year of high school from the most engaging teacher I have ever known, Mrs. Flavia Loeb. So for me, it also carries the feeling of being almost done with high school, a point where we feel oh-so-smart without having this tested by the reality of making it on our own.

Anne Sharp

 

 

Perfunctory.

My favorite word is perfunctory because I think it sounds cool - it contains all my favorite sounds (funk, ffff and 'c'). and I like the meaning - I think it has an important place in modern society - "done out of the force of habit."  It applies to so many aspects of life these days.

Alex

 

 

Perhaps.

It is not "no" and it is not "yes," it is more hopeful than the word "maybe," and fits almost any situation.

Gee-Gee Jordan

 

 

Perquisite.

Because I thought it might mean perk, and it does, but it also has a more particular historical meaning that reeks of polite privilege and position: a payment in addition to salary, expected as one's due. The middle English meaning was property acquired otherwise than by inheritance. I like to think of a perquisite as the best form of payment one could hope to receive -- unearned but expected and for which no one has to die.

Giles Deshon, Toronto

 

 

Persnickety.

I was called persnickety once.  Sounds like a put down, but the person was referring to the way I play billiards.  In this particular instance, a compliment! There are probably a lot of A-type personalities out there that can also claim to be persnickety.

Dione

 

 

Persnickety.

Such a great word for someone is just too choosy, hard to please. I've known a few persnickety folks in my life.

Barbara Laws

 

 

Persnickety.

Because it is the only word that describes my fussy, particular dog who thinks he owns the world and that everything, I mean everything, should be done to suit him. For example: laps and blankets should be arranged exactly the way he likes them. The weather should be neither too cold, too warm, nor too wet. The walk should go in the direction he wants to go, etc. And the funniest part is that if he doesn't get his way, he just looks offended, like someone has just insulted his dignity.

Rachael Ross

 

 

Peruse.

A "laid back" word, take your time, check it out at your leisure, plus just kind of pleasant to say!

Kate Morgan

 

 

Petard.

I love the expression "to be hoisted on ones petard," which dates back to the time of Guy Fawkes who used a bomb called a petard, consisting of a raft made up of explosives, in a failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. This device is equipped with a short fuse, leading to the anarchist being "hoisted on his petard," i.e., blown up. It has come to mean being caught out by your own words or actions.

Phil Sears

 

 

Petrichor.

The smell after the first rain following a dry season.

This is my favorite word because I really love the smell of the wet earth after the first rain. I did not know that a word existed to describe this until recently and when I did find out, I was delighted.

Priya Kamala

 

 
Phlegm.

It just shows that English can compete with French for having spellings that don't match apparent pronunciations.  It's also a fairly nice sounding word for such a nasty thing.

Annette Young

 

 

Phobia.

After considering the topic for two weeks I suddenly became aware of my favorite word. I revisited several significant words from my life, from the unusual to the mundane, but none gave me that true sense of going home as did the word phobia. The phobia mystifies me, excites me, and causes me to imagine the myriad of ways in which it may have been born. The phobia may be truly owned by an individual and customized accordingly. The phobia not only protects one from trauma, but also from other unpleasant activities such as cleaning the gutters or going outside when you're paying good money for cable TV. Almost any word that has "-phobia" as a suffix is intriguing as well.

Tania Corliss

 

 

Phooey.

It's a word that can be said in front of anyone without offending at the same time. You get the same satisfaction when something has gone wrong without cussing and then you can be proud of yourself because you didn't cuss! I think it's the perfect "expression" word.

Linda Snyder

 

 

Plethora.

My favorite word is plethora. I can't say exactly why it appeals to me or why I like to say it. It sounds a lot more fun than its literal definition makes it.

Cheryl

 

 

Plethora.

I just love the way this word rolls off the lips! It seems to be a forgotten word until lately for some reason. Now I am beginning to hear it more and more and I'm glad that it isn't dropping into that dark hole of forgotten wonderful-sounding words.

Roger Arnold

 

 

Plop.

My favourite word is plop. I don't know why, it just has a wonderful, silly sound to it. It's one of those words that children really enjoy listening to and repeating. I guess the inner child in me is coming out!

Maria Bootle

 

 

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

A contender for longest word in the language.  I first saw it in (I think) a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" paperback. It is a miner's lung disease. As soon as I saw it proclaimed as the language's longest word, I (true to my nerd instincts) decided I had to learn to spell it. And I did. It's actually not so hard. Despite its imposing length (45 letters), it is actually made of of smaller, rather easily remembered components. Just spell it the way it's pronounced!

Rich Simon

 

 

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

This word was in my 6th-grade spelling book. No, really. It was used as an example of a larger word which could be broken up into easily pronounceable parts. My brothers and I immediately memorized it, and I have been saying it ever since. I use it, as well; it's very useful for teaching my students that words can be figured out based on their parts -- roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Kevin Anderson

 

Popinjay.

I like this word as it quite easily rolls of the tongue, and is a great way of describing a person who is vain and talkative.

James

 

 

Potato.

My favorite word is potato because if you really think about it potatoes are a very creative starch.  You can do anything with a potato!  Potatoes can be baked, mashed, sautéed, fried, sliced, scalloped, salted, buttered, peppered, processed, and blended!

Emily

 

 

Precocious.

Because that's me!

Kimberly A Lanicek

 

 

Precocious.

Due to the fact that I am quick on the uptake and rarely give something a second thought. I also love the lovely rounded s at the end, it has real French flavor

Gregory Milton

 

 

Prestidigitation.

Oddly a colleague and I were talking about this just recently while out in the field. I just like the sound of the word and the manner in which it trips off the tongue.

Thom

 

 

Proboscis.

An elephant's trunk, an anteater's snout, or the thing we humans smell through. It's just a fun word to say, as long as you use the "right" pronunciation of prah-BAHS-kiss. "Nose" is such a boring word, but proboscis adds flavor to any statement. For the next week, I challenge you to substitute proboscis anytime you normally would say nose. You just may make the change permanent.

Jay G.

 

 

Prognosis.

It has to be prognosis because it is such an optimistic word. A prognosis is an analysis of outcome; if you split the word in two, you get pro gnosis, which one could take to mean being for illuminated knowledge.

Philip McCulla

 

 

Prolly.

Prolly is by far my favorite and most-used word. It is short for probably and found in A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. It rolls off the tongue much easier than probably and is frankly more fun to say. Try it.

Heather

 

 

Prurient.

The word sounds great and even feels good to say. It kind of reminds me of a vixen dressed in a cat suit purring. Gee, I guess that is sort of prurient thought.

Prurient: Arousing or appealing to an inordinate interest in sex.

Joe Allo

 

 

Pulchritudinous.

This word is almost an antipode to the more familiar onomatopoeic terms in that it sounds vulgar or diseased, and yet means beautiful, and is used usually only about people. I spotted it in a book once and still cannot decide if it was an ingenious decision or just sesquipedalian indulgence.

Not recommended for love letters -- throw it in a sonnet for a laugh.

Wes C

 

 

Pupik.

It's Yiddish for bellybutton.

It sounds like it should mean bellybutton.

"Cut the pupik cord."  "Doesn't she have a darling little pupik."

Fred

 

 
Purple.

Purple sounds warm with the two p's.  Purple is a lovely colour which brings forth images of beautiful sunsets, fairy tale royalty and spiritual depth.

Tor

 

 

Purr.

My favorite word is "purr," both as a noun and as a verb. 

It is the onomatopoeia for the loveliest sound in Nature. When a human being says purr, the word softly rolls in the tongue. When a kitty purrs in contentment, well, one feels that despite evolution and language a human being cannot express feelings as beautifully as a purring kitty does.

Carmen and her three purring kitties Narkis, Maui and Fanti

 

 

Pusillanimous.

It means cowardly but it is a handy word to use as an insult because everybody thinks it sounds bad but nobody knows what it means.

Jack McCall

 

 
 

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