Words beginning with "S"



I was an outstanding speller in my youth. In seventh grade I won the school wide spelling test and got to go all the way to Pittsburgh, PA for a regional final. Out of 700 (probably more like 30) children, I survived until the final three. My word? Sagacious: Having or showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness. I spelled it "s-E-g-a-c-i-o-u-s."

It is my favorite word for two reasons. One, I will never forget how to spell it, and two, the winner of the contest had to spell tulle: A fine, often starched net of silk, rayon, or nylon, used especially for veils, tutus, or gowns. I would have surely spelled it t-o-o-l and been embarrassed for life. It was therefore very sagacious of me to misspell sagacious...right?

Sheila Confer




First heard it after the Chernobyl disaster, the term they used to describe the entombed reactor. Just a magical word that not only described the situation, but also had that sound of foreboding and dread about it. There appears to be nothing good or encouraging about the sounds that make up the word. You can hear suffocation, cough, esophagus and gas in the word. All relevant to varying degrees.

John Morgan




It just rolls of the tongue, for one.

And just the image it evokes. Kind of like a Victorian era couple, her with a parasol, him dressed to the nines, sashaying down a path in a park beside a lake.

I don't know that I've ever successfully sashayed, but I hope to one day.

Nathan Thompson



Just sounds good ... reminds me of my mum, listening to Queen at full volume:

"Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango
Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening..."

I named my cat Scaramouche, it's just fun to stand at the back door calling her.





It's just fun to say.





As much fun to say as Schenectady, and with a great meaning too.  From Google: (Yiddish) a gullible simpleton more to be pitied than despised; "don't be such an apologetic schnook."

Rick Stone




Because it just rolls off the tongue and has such a romantic sound.

M.L. Pearce




My favorite word is serendipitous. Besides having a lovely sound, it's a word that means luck has a way of falling into your lap. I like the idea of that. Serendipitous.

-The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
-The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
-An instance of making such a discovery.

Judy K-M




What word could possibly be more perfect than serendipity? It rolls off the tongue with a delectably trochaic rhythm. It has an unusually transparent pedigree. It makes people smile when itís tossed into a conversation. Perhaps most notably, though, is its meaning: the faculty of making unexpected and fortunate discoveries. Planned-for good things are their own rewards, but serendipities are lifeís little bonuses. An especially robust cluster of Bachelorís Buttons at the side of the road, a double rainbow, that 20 dollar bill you forgot you stuck in your coat pocket last winter -- ideal moments that spread joy over the rest of your day.

Evelyn Stice




Serendipity -- falls in sparkles from the lips!  The meaning is just as lovely.

I gave the name to a little brown puppy that found her way to my back porch on a farm. Little "Sery" was a true and loyal friend all her life. Sigh.





Just like the sound and feel of it coming off the tongue. Also liked the reaction it got from college English professor when I used it while composing a sentence using one of his assigned "new" words.




It means "having a tendency to use long words," and isn't it just perfect?  I love words that demonstrate themselves.  Also, I have been known to murmur (another great word), "My, aren't we sesquipedalianistic?" when someone is showing off.

Brenda Ruby



Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

Marketing at its best. This way the manufacturer sells twice as much shampoo! Brilliant.

Bruce Dawson




It's funny-sounding, it reminds me of "Trick Or Treat," and it probably is Irish in origin.

Thomas J. McGinn




In baseball parks the crowds love the long oo sound. The enthusiasm of a prolonged "boo" or the name of a favorite player, "Lou, Boog" or the exclamation "eww" lingers in the air. Oo-ga, boogie-woogie are funny for the same reason. The consonant sh may be the funniest consonant. Those two sounds can be both drawn out and held. English doesn't have the word oosh, which would be funnier. Whoosh is close. The beauty is of the simplicity of one vowel and one consonant forming one word. So shoe it is.

Stanislav Zadnik



Silver, a meltingly delicious word, all soft sounds, mysterious, like mist in the moonlight, cool and malleable, like water running over moss, evocative, sensual, precious.

Victoria Ayers




My favorite word has to be sinew. It brings to mind a raw and rare energy that instantly reminds me of people strong not only of body but also of mind. The first time I heard this word was in William Blake's poem "Tiger." It had a verse that went so: " And what shoulder and what art could twist the sinews of thy heart." The absolutely beautiful symmetry in this line is echoed through the poem but this line stands out by its sinews.

Avinash Pai




This has been my favorite word since I was a pre-schooler. I like the way it feels in my mouth when I say it slowly. It means to make a hissing sound which is what it feels like and what it does as I sizzle something in a skillet.

Sara Kaplan




A delight of growing up in Scotland some 40 years ago was the richness of the vocabulary used by my parents and, especially, my grandmother. Although she was an educated woman (a school teacher by profession), she had no compunction in preferring a guid auld Scots word over the more insipid English alternative.

Alasdair Liddell

(Editor's merciful note:  The Scots Dialect Dictionary defines skiddle as "A contemptuous name for tea or any insipid liquid.")


This is one of my favorite words because it brings up images of pirates and swashbuckling and is entirely different than my normal ho-humdrum existence. I also like the way it makes my mouth feel when I say it (particularly if repeated numerous times using different accents). And finally, it is my favorite word for the moment because it is particularly applicable during an election year.

Jill S. Clayton




Because the book of Proverbs uses it to refer to one who is lazy and unwilling to care for him/herself. It makes me think of those slimy little guys who crawl over the dog food and are just generally icky. But when you need to use it in context, no other word fits quite like sluggard.

Anita Ibison




A proper noun really, a name. It is a blessing that this is not my name, a blessing that it is someone's, and a constant source of conversation assuring others that it is not made up. During restless nights I can repeat this name over and over until I fall asleep; usually just minutes before the alarm goes off.

Raphael Lasar, Matawan, NJ, USA




One of my favorite words is socioeconomical. I used it in a psychology paper, not knowing if it was a real word or not. Then I replaced that word with another, poly-socioeconomical. Although this is not a real word, I still count it as one of my favorites.

Amanda Lenhart




I have to nominate this word, not so much for its meaning, but rather for the way it dances playfully around the mouth when spoken.





My favourite word is sophistry because it appeals to my ability to put forward a perfectly logical line of argument on any number of subjects with absolutely no basis in fact

Val Duncan




This word has a regality to it and I fervently hope that the Iraqi people will soon accept the meaning of the word in all of its ramifications!

Richard D. Stacy




Because it reminded me of clouds and marshmallows when I was a kid!





A word named after the Rev. Spooner, who commonly made the mistake that now has his name affixed to it. A spoonerism is a transposing of syllables whether in a phrase or a single word. Most spoonerisms will make real words that will confuse the meaning of sentences. Below are some examples:

Spoonerism - Roonerspism
Take a Shower - Shake a Tower
Two of Hearts - Who of Tarts
Bottled Water - Waddled Botter

One of Rev. Spooner's most famous mistake was the following:

Dear Old Queen - Queer Old Dean

And it just gets worse the more things you try!! I especially enjoy giving directions to people using them... "At the strext neet lake a teft!"  To practice use a lot of two word phrases beginning with consonants!

Steve Judah




I smile every time I hear it.





You can type this word entirely with your left hand. I heard that it is in fact the longest word that you can type with one hand only. That's just a neat bit of trivia, even though they're now called "flight attendants."

Alyce Smith




Doesn't it just sound lofty and grand? An ultimate descriptor -- once something has hit sublime, it just can't go any further. Yet it sounds so light, with the subtle emphasis the upper crust applies to itself.

And there is a bonus technical meaning that brings to mind the delicate vapor rising off dry ice to solidify and fall like a mist.  Sublime.

Stephen R Smoot




My favorite word is "subversive." It sounds mischievous and the "sub" gives me an image of digging under a wall.

Jane Shevtsov




I love this word. It denotes a quick action/reaction, so I know something lively is about to happen.





Sundry is one of my favorite words. I remember seeing the word "Sundries" on a shop sign when I was little. I thought it was a special variety of sundae. After I discovered what it meant, I found that there were other terms for shop goods that were also interesting. Haberdashery is an interesting word, too. When I moved to Australia, I discovered the linen (sheets, towels, etc.) department in stores was called manchester.

Ann Davie




I heard this word as a middle-schooler and assumed that it meant that something was supremely silly. I used it that way for years! But it means to look at someone with distain...which I'm sure many people did when I used it inappropriately! What a let-down to know that it means something so un-silly.

Kate McLean




It sounds pretty and floaty.





My favorite word is supreme; there's something of the sublime in the word, it sounds rich like double-cream and the fact that it intends to identify the ultimate, best/most best. It sounds therefore somewhat as it means, an absolute that might be as spiritual as it might be corporeal.





My favorite word is "sure."  I like it because it confuses people. When somebody asks you, "Do you like that brown table better than the white table?", and I say, "Sure," they don't really seem to understand what I'm saying: Sure I don't like it better or Sure I do. So they make me say it again with yes or no.





A soft, whispering or rustling sound; a murmur.

Growing up near the Atlantic Ocean, I knew what susurrus was before I knew the word. I have always loved the sound of the ocean. When I learned of the wonderful word susurrus (I think it was in a lesson on onomatopoeia), I thought it was as wonderful as the sound of the ocean itself.





My favorite word is susurrus, for the simple reason that it is one of those words that sound like it would look if it had form. I also like the way it rolls of the tongue and the images it can evoke when used in the right context.





Just say it! It fills the mouth then exits much in the same way as the action it describes: To shape or fashion a piece of iron by forcing it into a groove or mold having the required shape. It is also a noun, the tool that shapes the metal.





In the movie "The Glass Slipper," Estelle Winwood, the balmy fairy godmother, had several favorite words - she just loved to say them. "Elbow," "windowsill" "apple dumpling"

I guess these are as good as any, but "sweetheart" is a nice one too.

Dorothy Calvin



Just its spelling and pronunciation are beautiful, in and of themselves. And its meaning -- "the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system" -- just adds to its beauty. Three celestial bodies, corresponding to the word's three syllables each ending in a soft "y" sound ... it's just a perfect word.

David Olson




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