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Helen MacInnes
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The New Yorker: Writers Choose Their Favorite Words


Last week, in a choice instance of logophile clickbait, the Guardian asked a handful of well-known writers to give a few words on their favorite words. The result was a little like asking a bunch of chefs to describe their preferred knives, or inviting a group of carpenters to talk about the merits of different saws: a joyful, voluptuous disquisition upon the specialist’s tools.


Here's a link to the original article in the Guardian:


From plitter to drabbletail: the words we love

Dialect terms such as yokeymajig or whiffle-whaffle; all-time favourites like cochineal, clot or eschew; antiquated phrases such as ‘playing the giddy ox’ … leading writers on the words they cherish.


The words:


  1. Hilary Mantel: nesh
  2. Andrew O’Hagan: clart
  3. Will Self: pipe down!
  4. Emma Healey: clot
  5. Eimear McBride: yoke
  6. Neel Mukherjee: tight slap
  7. Robert Macfarlane: apophany
  8. Taiye Selasi: chale
  9. Sarah Hall: gloaming
  10. Nick Laird: thrawn
  11. Aminatta Forna: plitter
  12. Paul Muldoon: slipe
  13. Tessa Hadley: cochineal
  14. Blake Morrison: whiffle-whaffle
  15. Paul Kingsnorth: swamm
  16. John Sutherland: widdershins
  17. Nina Stibbe: fetlock
Source: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/writers-choose-their-favorite-words