Education

Words that don’t mean as they sound

You can never be sure of the meaning of a word based on the way they sound. Read on to know more.

When we are young, we sometimes assume the meaning of some words. For example, the word Noisome. If you hear it for the first time, it seems like something noisy or something related to noise. But in reality, Noisome is not something that is repulsive to your ears but, instead it is something that is repulsive to your nose. Noisome refers to an unpleasant and disgusting smell. Our perception of the meaning of certain words is due to onomatopoeia which means mimicking the meaning exactly how it sounds. But here are some words that do not sound or look like their meaning.

Crepuscular

The word does sound a bit repulsive and give us an impression that the speaker or writer is talking about some skin ailment. But Crepuscular refers to creatures who are active in twilight, and its literal meaning is twilight. The word comes from a Latin crepusculum which means twilight.

Fungible

No, this word is not used to describe the feeling we get while playing with slime and neither it is related to any fungus. The word actually is used for describing money or goods that can be replaced by equivalent things. The word comes from the medieval Latin word fungibilis, which means to enjoy or to perform.

Nugatory

The word can be deceiving as when we hear it; we feel it sounds like something that is delicious or very creamy. But according to the dictionary, it means something that is futile or has no value and is useless. The word was originated in the 16th Century and is derived from the Latin word nugatorius.

Lackaday

This word seems like we can use it for the hopeless, lazy and idle people who live their life being dependent on others. But do you know what the word actually means? It means to express deprecation or regret. We bet you were as surprised as we were.

Defenestration

The word actually seems like something related to deforestation or even defrosting the refrigerator. But the dictionary suggests otherwise. It says that the word means expulsion or swift dismissal. The word is primarily used to politely throw people out of the window.

Pulchritude

This word seems like it could never be used as praise, and you can think of many degrading meanings you think might be the meaning.  But surprisingly, the word’s literal translation is beauty which comes from Middle age, French.

So, do you see the English language in a different light?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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