About two weeks ago we shared the fact that many language experts believe “cellar door” is the most euphonious phrase in the English language. More than 400 people replied to our post with strong opinions about the “cellar door” selection. If you would like to know the rationale behind the choice, you can read about it here.
Tons of people also shared their own choice for the best-sounding word or phrase in English. The results are eclectic, poetic and exotic. Below are the words which (unscientifically) were suggested by the greatest number of people. You’ll also find some of the most colorful and surprising suggestions and comments.
The popular reaction to “cellar door” was one of skepticism. When people changed “cellar door” to a similar-sounding word that lacks the mental image of a door leading to a dark, dank room, such as “celladora,” many skeptics were more accepting. As one person wrote, “Celladora is a very pretty name. It reminds me of an open field, rushing stream of spring water, the sun peeking out from behind the mountains . . .” Unfortunately, celladora is not an actual word.
The word that was suggested as most beautiful-sounding with the greatest frequency was “serendipity.” Unlike “cellar door,” ”serendipity” has the advantage of positive associations. Meaning “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident,” it derives from an old name for what is now Sri Lanka, as well as a Persian folktale where the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity.”
A sampling of other user suggestions, in no particular order: soliloquy, epiphany, Elysium and elysian, scissors, vivacious, fudge, telephony, nycthemeron, cinnamon, woodthrush, phosphorescence, lithe, and languorous.
Velvety, purple, Venezuela.
And one person chimed in with a contrary opinion: “I would like to vote “moist” as the most gross-sounding word in the English language.”
What’s your reaction to these reactions? Do you have a favorite that isn’t on this list? Let us know, below.