Let’s get one factor clear proper up entrance: Just randomly utilizing massive phrases in hopes you may sound smarter is not going to work. As one Princeton study discovered, it could have the alternative impact. But do not let that discourage from really broadening your vocabulary. Learning a brand new phrase right here and there—and figuring out the right way to use it successfully—would not simply make you seem extra clever: It will really make you extra clever, for actual. Recent studies have discovered a correlation between growing your vocabulary as an grownup and strengthening your mind.
Now, that does not imply memorizing a dozen or so phrases with six or extra syllables will make you the neatest particular person in your social circle. No, strengthening your vocabulary is extra about having a honest curiosity about language, and wanting to seek out new, extra inventive methods to explain the world round you. To enable you in your quest for better intelligence, listed here are 30 phrases that will not simply make you sound smarter, however simply would possibly make you smarter. And to see the place essentially the most clever individuals reside, This Is the Smartest State within the U.S.
Read the unique article on Best Life.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It would not sound like a put-down, but it surely sort of is. A “cacophony” is any loud, disagreeable combination of sounds. It could possibly be musical devices, howling canine, automotive horns, and even individuals.
EXAMPLE: “A bachelor party is happening next door. Hence the cacophony.”
Looking for extra methods to spice up your intelligence? Just This Many Minutes of Exercise Will Boost Your Brain, Study Says.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It’s the sensation you get if you’re concurrently bored and aggravated. You had been anticipating extra, however you bought… this? You’re not depressed precisely, however you’d undoubtedly reasonably be anyplace however right here. (If you are in one of many 50 cities with the worst singles scenes in America, you most likely know the sensation.)
EXAMPLE: “How was my date last night? Well, I’ll just say this. At the end, I had a gnawing sense of ennui.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You’ve obtained a severe case of the feels, however you are undecided the right way to discuss it with out saying “the feels”? Try this tasty phrase, which suggests you are so overcome with emotion that you just’re virtually trembling.
EXAMPLE: “Am I excited for the new Star Wars sequel? I’m aquiver with excitement!”
What higher strategy to train the thoughts than studying extra about it with these 23 Facts About Your Brain That Will Blow Your Mind.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You cannot put your finger on it, however one thing about the way in which that man is speaking sounds utterly insincere. He thinks he has all of the options, however he is simply blowing smoke.
EXAMPLE: “I know you think you’re being helpful, but you’re being way too glib.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Can you think about how rather more enjoyable Twitter fights could be if individuals responded to insults that harm their emotions with, “Dear sir, I take umbrage to that comment?” Yes, it means “offense” or “annoyance.”
EXAMPLE: “I know you’re just an Internet troll with no sense of right or wrong, but you didn’t have to cause me so much umbrage.”
And for the phrases that can have a adverse have an effect on on the way you’re perceived by others, try 5 Words That Will Make You Sound Less Confident, According to Experts.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It’s when the topic in a dialog will get modified with out warning, normally abruptly. It’s a pleasant approach of claiming, “Have you even been listening to me?” Its Latin translation, actually: “it does not follow.”
EXAMPLE: “Wait, why did you just bring up astronauts? I thought we were talking about mud races. That was a weird non-sequitur.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: It simply appears like one thing a Looney Tunes character would say—but it surely’s really a professional phrase, which means “to leave hurriedly.” Originally derived from the Spanish phrase vamos, which suggests “let’s go,” fashionable utilization takes it up a notch: When it is time to vamoose, hazard might be imminent.
EXAMPLE: “I don’t know how a mountain lion got in the room either, but we’ll talk about it later. Vamoose, man, vamoose!”
And for extra brain-boosting content material delivered straight to your inbox, join our day by day publication.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You may say “That stuff is everywhere,” and also you’d most likely be understood. But you then’re lacking all of the enjoyable of language. A phrase like “ubiquitous” communicates the identical thought, but it surely’s the deep-dish pizza of vocabulary. You must eat it with a fork. (Officially, it means: “found everywhere.”)
EXAMPLE: “Oh yeah, I’ve seen plenty of guys with hipster beards. They’re ubiquitous.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Evil is simply evil, however when it goes the additional mile into Bond villain territory, that is when it turns into nefarious.
EXAMPLE: “The way he runs his business, it’s just so… nefarious.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Sure, you may ask your spouse or girlfriend why she’s being so moody and unpredictable. Or you are taking a safer tactic, and use a phrase that is not fairly so negatively loaded.
EXAMPLE: “You seem a little capricious tonight, dear, is everything okay?”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: No, we’re not kidding. It’s an precise phrase, referring to any exercise that pretends to be helpful however is basically only a massive waste of your worthwhile time.
EXAMPLE: “Of all the company meetings we’ve had this year, this was the biggest boondoggle!”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Calling anyone a “suck-up” or a “brown-noser” feels so juvenile, like an insult you’d hurl at anyone in highschool. You can do higher. And except they know what it means, “sycophant” may even sound like a praise.
EXAMPLE: “No, you totally deserve that raise. You’re the biggest sycophant in the office.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: When music hits you proper within the feels, it is onerous to elucidate why you find it irresistible a lot. Instead of claiming “Damn this is good,” attempt a barely extra expressive phrase like “mellifluous.” It means a easy, flowing sound that hits your ears in simply the fitting approach.
EXAMPLE: “I can’t stop listening to the new Arcade Fire record. It’s so darn mellifluous.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Telling a pal “your leather shoes are boss” makes you sound like a frat dude. If you are going to praise anyone on his sturdy, rugged-looking footwear, use a phrase with a way of historical past. If it was adequate for Irish staff through the 18th century, it is adequate for you.
EXAMPLE: “I like your brogues, bro.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Just by utilizing the phrase “perfunctory,” you are being the alternative of perfunctory. (See what we did there?) The solely ones who make a perfunctory, halfhearted effort are those who aren’t actually certain if being referred to as “perfunctory” is a snub however cannot be bothered to look it up.
EXAMPLE: “The interviewer asked all the perfunctory questions. He didn’t seem truly interested.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Words like “affair” and “one-night stand” sound so judgy. If you are having a secret assembly with anyone you should not be alone with, and it is potential a number of of you were not sporting pants, nicely my good sir, that is a tryst.
EXAMPLE: “No, we never officially dated. We just had the occasional tryst.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY: It’s additionally the identify for sulfuric acid, which is highly effective sufficient to burn by means of absolutely anything. That’s the way it works with the emotion as nicely. If you will have vitriol for somebody, nicely, they’re far out of your favourite particular person.
EXAMPLE: “Don’t even bring up that guy’s name. The amount of vitriol I have for that person, I can’t even explain.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Rarely does such a easy phrase (or a phrase and a quantity) specific such an advanced thought. You can thank Joseph Heller for coining the time period in his 1962 novel Catch-22. It’s a paradox the place there isn’t any escape: You’re damned when you do and damned when you do not. If you ever end up in a scenario the place there aren’t any straightforward solutions and both selection appears looks like a lifeless finish, what you will have is an old school catch-22.
EXAMPLE: “You have to have money to make money. It’s a catch-22.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: If it is beginning to look like an expanded vocabulary is simply an excuse to be extra inventive together with your insults, you may be proper. But when you’re so dim and slow-witted that you do not understand that being referred to as obtuse is not adulation, perhaps you just a little bit deserved it?
EXAMPLE: “Don’t worry, he’s too obtuse to realize we’re talking about him.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We do not imply the Family Guy character, however a swampy marsh, or any troublesome or precarious scenario. If you are caught in a quagmire, you are in fairly the predicament.
EXAMPLE: “Until he pays off the IRS, Bob’s in one heck of a financial quagmire.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We reside in a scary, unsure world, and it is easy to really feel bewildered or confused. But you possibly can add just a little shade to your consternation by utilizing a phrase that sounds prefer it belongs in a British comedy.
EXAMPLE: “I was following the GPS, I have no idea how we got this lost. I’m flummoxed!”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: When anyone’s pushing so that you can do one thing you’d reasonably not be doing, you may accuse them of making an attempt to bully or dupe you—what we as soon as referred to as “peer pressure” in highschool—or you may hit them with a phrase that offers them pause. That alone would possibly make them again off.
EXAMPLE: “Nice try, but you’re not going to cajole me into drinking another beer.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: We’ve all been caught within the act of being a jerk for no cause. But who desires to say, “Sorry, I was a jerk for no reason?” Here’s a greater strategy to clarify.
EXAMPLE: “No, I didn’t really mean it when I said you would die alone and unloved. I was being caustic.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You had been gonna foyer for a increase at work however your boss is already deliberate on supplying you with one? It’s a fait accompli! Your accomplice’s been pestering you to do the dishes however they’ve already loaded the washer? Another fait accompli! If there is a cooler, extra French, approach of claiming “Already done,” we have not heard it. (It’s not at all times factor, although—when HR places a irritating new coverage into impact and solely tells you after the actual fact, that is a fait accompli, too.)
EXAMPLE: “What’s that, dear? You need me to take out the trash? Well, no need. Fait accompli!”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: A very nice phrase offers individuals pause, forcing them to surprise if it actually means what they suppose it’s. Gregarious appears like an endorsement—and it’s; it means anyone is sociable and keen on different individuals’s firm—however phonetically it is just a little too near “gangrene.” They may ask, however that may imply admitting they do not know what the phrase means.
EXAMPLE: “You know why I like you? You’re one of the most gregarious people I know.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: A enjoyable phrase as a result of it modifications relying on the context. Used to explain anyone who’s obsessive about the small particulars and could be very troublesome to please, it is clearly meant as a praise if you say, “You’re an excellent cook, you must be very fastidious in the kitchen.” Great for the workplace, however perhaps not a lot when it is used within the bed room.
EXAMPLE: “It’s six hours and you still haven’t had an orgasm? You’re being way too fastidious.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Feeling just a little tearfully sentimental? Or choked-up with emotion for no obvious cause? Describe what you feel with a phrase that manages to have some gravitas (regardless of it usually getting used to diss one thing as overly sentimental). Ernest Hemingway was by no means weepy, however he undoubtedly had his (drunk) maudlin moments.
EXAMPLE: “Sorry, looking at all these old photos always makes me maudlin.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: That feeling you get if you learn the information each morning, and you are like, “Is this real? Is that actually happening? This can’t be real life.” That’s you being flabbergasted.
EXAMPLE: “Yes, I saw Game of Thrones last week. I’m still flabbergasted.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: Whether you are a recovering alcoholic or have by no means touched a drop, abstaining utterly from alcohol qualifies anyone as a teetotaler. Where on earth does it come from? Nobody’s solely certain. It may need one thing to do with ingesting tea: It first got here into trend throughout England’s temperance motion of the early nineteenth century. (Richard Turner, the man who almost definitely got here up with the phrase, preferred it a lot that he put in on his headstone.)
EXAMPLE: “Are you sure you want to invite him to your bachelor party? He’s a teetotaler.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE DEFINITION ALREADY…: You ought to actually know what this implies by now—and it is undoubtedly one we should always attempt utilizing extra usually. People with even the slightest sensitivity to different individuals’s emotions would possibly as nicely have tremendous powers.
EXAMPLE: “I know you think he’s the enemy because of his political beliefs, but let’s try to have a little empathy, okay?”