I often become enamored of certain words I see while copyediting, and the latest comes from China Miéville’s novel Embassytown, which I’m working on now: panjandrum.
I love it when the sound of a word and its meaning match up so well. Panjandrum was coined by the dramatist Samuel Foote, which is undoubtedly how it gained that effect.
What are your favorite words with meanings and sounds that match well? Bonus if they’re neither coined nor onomatopoeic.
In my Twitter feed so far we have vexing, splendid, mellifluous, short, appetence, quirk, and melancholy. #wordgeekery
I'm a freelance copyeditor specializing in fantasy and science fiction. SF/F novels I have copyedited have been finalists for (and have sometimes won) the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, Endeavour, Golden Spur, John W. Campbell Memorial, Quill, Locus, Philip K. Dick, British Science Fiction, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy awards. In 2007 I became the first and only copyeditor ever short-listed for a World Fantasy Award.