Five words you need to start saying

The fount of all verbiage from which I have drawn only the greatest words. Image courtesy of Book Riot


Since returning to campus in late August, the vocabulary of Butler students has diminished to complete and utter monotony. There is no more pizazz in our verbiage; perhaps summer break sucked the creativity out of everyone’s language. Whatever the reason, I have taken it upon myself to rectify the situation by publishing a list of my favorite words for public use. Let’s get into it.

1) Whoopsie

Starting my list off strong is a word that harkens back to the glorious days of my toddlerhood. This fault-dodging exclamation got me out of many a tricky situation as a child and made me 10 times cuter doing so. 

Kayla Miller is a junior history and secondary education double major who worked in a daycare classroom over the summer. “Whoopsie” was in the everyday vocabulary of the children she taught. While the word may have originated in the language of children, Miller believes the word should be used among adults as well. 

“Maybe that would be better for everyone, saying ‘whoopsie’ instead of ‘sh*t-f*ck-d*mmit,’” said Miller.

In settings where foul language is frowned upon, “whoopsie” is the perfect alternative. Say it in class when you fail a test, or in your room when you’re running late to a meeting. Use the word for whatever you will, but I beg you to say it.

2) Tricky

In the same way that “whoopsie” harkens back to my childhood, “tricky” conjures up memories of struggling with first-grade homework problems. The problems felt impossibly complex, and 7-year-old me described every question as “tricky.” I think we should do the same in our adult years as well. 

Sophomore biology major Aidan Trachtman is a creative word user himself. While Trachtman usually opts for the word “tough” to describe difficult situations, he admits that “tricky” has its merits.

“If someone says something is tricky, I feel like they’re trying to solve a riddle,” Trachtman said. “If someone says something’s tough, I feel like they’re trying to open a jar of pickles … I open a lot of pickle jars.”

While “tricky” doesn’t always work for Trachtman, I think those of you who rarely open pickle jars should welcome this word into your everyday vocabulary.

3) Perhaps

If you want to be the most mysterious person in the room, answer all questions with “perhaps.” Because the vibes of this word are immediately “hear-ye hear-ye,” dark ages, knighthood and whatnot, you sound as elite as the queen of England herself — God save her. Everyone should speak like they’re wearing a priceless crown atop their head, and “perhaps” will help get you there.

Mason Runkel is a senior healthcare and business double major who has adopted many self-proclaimed “Mason-isms” — signature words Runkel repeats often — over the course of his word-speaking career. 

With a variety of Mason-isms in his repertoire, Runkel still refuses to add the word “perhaps” to his vocabulary because of its extreme vagueness.

“I equate ‘perhaps’ to ‘sure,’ and ‘sure’ is my least favorite word,” Runkel said. “Do you want to or do you not? I need a yes or a no.”

In contrast, Trachtman answers most yes or no questions with “perhaps” precisely due to its vagueness.

“I feel like it’s funny in the sense that it’s so vague,” Trachtman said. “But also, it feels super specific at the same time … ‘perhaps’ is criminally underrated.” 

Sure, “perhaps” vagueness is not ideal when you’re on the receiving end of the word, but the aura of mystery that “perhaps” lends to its speaker makes for an interesting conversation. If you desire mystery, power and prestige, “perhaps” is the word for you.

4) Heinous

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a cry-worthy haircut, please use the word “heinous” so others can better imagine the severity of the situation. Heinous is bad. It is really not good. It is disgusting and upsetting, and it is the perfect word for a bad haircut. 

“Heinous” is a versatile word. Not only is “heinous” the right word for a horrendous chop, but it also perfectly describes otherworldly substances and concoctions brewed by creative college students. For Trachtman, it is the perfect word to describe a concoction he calls “gilk.” 

“Gilk is a combination of Gatorade and milk,” Trachtman said. “It is the ultimate sports drink, and if you look up ‘heinous’ in the dictionary, gilk is the picture they use to describe it.”

Heinous is the right word for all disgusting concoctions, but it can also be the right word for something less pleasant — something darker.

Miller takes the word to a more serious place.

“Just thinking about things that happen in this world, many of them are heinous and could be linked to societal collapse,” Miller said. “[But heinous] can also be silly things.”

So never shy away from the bold word just because it feels too dark to describe a tragic haircut. It is certainly not too dark to describe gilk. My advice when it comes to words is to always err on the side of the dramatic. “Heinous” is the perfect word to accomplish this.

5) Play

A personal favorite of mine, “play”  — like “tricky” and “whoopsie” — feels childish in the best way. Now that I am a young adult, I like to use words that make me feel youthful in my old age. “Play” is the best word for this mission. Instead of asking your friends to hang out, eat dinner or go on a walk, you should always ask your friends to come play. 

If you choose to use “play” in your everyday vocabulary, be warned. Not everyone is cultured enough to truly appreciate this beautiful word. Runkel has experienced this aversion firsthand.

“People think it’s really gross,” Runkel said. “But I think its funny because I’m just like, ‘wanna play?’”

I encourage you to recreate Runkel’s fearless approach to the word. Bring back “play,” and block out the hateful dissenters. Playing is fun, so people who don’t like the word are quite frankly allergic to fun. 

Fun words add flavor and spice to your life. Challenge yourself to curate a more interesting mental word bank. I want to be wowed by the verbiage of every Butler student. I’ve done you a favor by building a compact word bank for you and including only the best the English language has to offer.

“The dictionary is a big book,” Miller said. 

And she’s right. I’ve saved you the work of researching cool words, so now all you have to do is memorize them. 


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