Beyond Words - Language Blog

Speak Pleasure: Why Some Words Are Fun To Say

According to poet and humorist Roy Blount Jr., “All language is, on some level, body language.”

The body is often forgotten when linguists, writers, and translators consider language. The fact that our muscles, lips, breath, tongue, and teeth are the very instruments by which we speak reminds us of the intimate connection between words and the body. It can also help to shed light on some fascinating questions involving language.

For instance, why are some words fun to say?

Dillydally. Haberdasher. Bobbles. Flimflam. Blubber. Razzmatazz. Troglodyte.

It is certainly conceivable that some words are fun to say, regardless of their meaning, because the physical sensation of speaking them produces pleasure. The lip-smacks, tongue rolls, glottal stops, breathy spurts and deep exhalations that produce the coded sounds we call speech begin with the body. It could be that after thousands of years of producing these sounds, the pleasure has been stored in our memory so that the very act of reading evokes those pleasures and stirs our minds. Perhaps we are hardwired to speak pleasure.

Here is a video I found online that demonstrates, I think, the mysterious pleasure of speaking certain words. Enjoy!

Bulbous Bouffant – The Vestibules