Big Words

Christine, one of our ad reps, sent me an email this week in which she used the word perspicuity. She was telling me that my previous email to her had been clear. Her big word gave me a thrill and got me to thinking about how much I rely on little words.

When I recently saw my friend (and Mothering’s former Art Director), Laura Egley Taylor, playing Margaret in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, I also remembered how much I love big words. Big, delightful words are Shakespeare’s forte’. During the first scene of the play, my daughter leaned over to say, “This must have been written by a woman.”

She was referring to Sweet Swan of Avon, the fascinating book by Robin Williams, who was also in the audience that night. Williams convincingly asserts that the plays credited to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by Mary Sidney. Williams and Egley Taylor are mainstays of The Mary Sidney Society and of the Santa Fe Shakespeare Society.

Laura Egley Taylor, second from right


Inspired by Mary Sidney as well as Christine’s email, I decided today to see what other words I could use instead of my old lazy standbys. For example, I used the phrase, “Right On” in my email to Christine today and then immediately resent an email with the word indubitably, a fine sounding substitute for “Right On.” Some other appealing synonyms for “Right On” are: affirmative, by all means, most assuredly, precisely, unquestionably and without fail. I hope to use these words to spice up future conversations.


The other word I use too much, like everyone else, is awesome. Awesome is a great word because it has so many nuances but here are some other words we could use to mix with our use of awesome: fearsome, astonishing, magnificent, uncanny, first-rate, legendary, epic, peachy, phenomenal, prodigious, remarkable, stupendous, superb, top drawer, sensational, the cat’s meow, colossal, mammoth, puissant, staggering, portentous, exceptional, out of this world, unmitigated, glorious, and my new favorites–fly, whiz-bang, and real gone.







Talking of awesome leads me naturally to OMG. I use this in speech now too as well as online; it expresses so much. OMG is similar to awesome and has many of the same synonyms, but is more like “Wow.” Here are some words to use instead of OMG, at least in speech, Holy Cow, Holy Dignity, Holy Magnum, Stone the Crows, Swish and Yowzah.

Don’t you just love the English language? Yowzah!

Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)

Peggy O’Mara founded in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

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