Marketing 9 min read

How to Use Deep English Words to Help Your Content Stand out

Deep English words are words with rich sounds or profound meanings. Learn how to use them to make your content stand out and add to our ever-growing lexicon

Image credit: Susurrus | Shutterstock.com

Image credit: Susurrus | Shutterstock.com

Let’s explore some of the English language’s unplumbed depths. In this post, we’ll compile an exotic sample of deep English words to help you enrich your content.

Words are more than just a jumbled collection of letters. They are symbols that convey a deeper meaning. The English language is well stocked with words. We know many as Deep English Words.

What are Deep Engish Words?

Deep English words come in two forms. The first form is words with deep sounds. “Dord” might be an example of this. The second is words with deep or profound meanings. “Consciousness” might be an example of this type of deep English word.

Shakespeare’s genius was his ability to employ both sides of the deep English words coin at once.

Learning and using both forms of deep words will help you develop a proclivity for layered writing. Infusing your work with nuanced meaning and colorful sounds makes your content shine. With so much content out there, English words with deep sounds and meanings are one way to stand out from the crowd.

Do you know what the English word “dord” means?

It’s actually not a word. But, it was briefly considered a word in the 1930s.

This meaningless vocable appeared in 1934 due to a lexicographic error in Webster’s “New International Dictionary.” It wasn’t until 1939 that the publishers discovered the mistake. “Dord” became known as a “ghost word,” or a word that has no established meaning.

Deep Sounds and Meanings Galore

By the turn of the millennium, English hit the one million words mark. And the language is growing at a rate of thousands of new words every year.

Other sources claim the English lexicon only passed this threshold only in 2009. Regardless, it’s 2019, and English is no doubt a millionaire when it comes to words. According to the Global Language Monitor, English now stands at 1,052,010.5 words.

William Shakespeare was prolific with deep words. He loved to use established words in new ways to invent new meanings. This iconic playwright also created new words.

A classic dank meme with 4 puns using Shakespeare's name and accompanying images (Shakespeare, Steadyspeare, Shookspeare, and With a Spear)
A classic dank meme with 4 puns using Shakespeare’s name and accompanying images (Shakespeare, Steadyspeare, Shookspeare, and With a Spear)

Shakespeare alone created hundreds of words. One of my favorite examples is “madcap.” He invented new words by conjoining existing words. Also, he turned nouns into verbs or verbs into adjectives. Shakespeare also made liberal use of prefixes and suffixes.

Earlier, we saw that deep English words have either deep sounds or deep meanings. Shakespeare’s genius was his ability to employ both sides of the deep English words coin at once. He invented words based on their theatrical sounds. His work is also a kind of literary onion. He enfolded many layers of meaning for audiences to peel back and interpret.

A fracted heart doesn’t care where the word alluding to its plight comes from! The Latin word fractus means “broken.” In this example, Shakespeare assimilated this Latin word into English. He took away “–us” and added in the suffix “–ed” to anglicize it (englishize?).

Let’s switch to a more recent example of deep English words. Mary Poppins may have popularized the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” But it’s not the longest word in English. That honor goes to another mouthful of a word: PneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosisTalk about the risks of being a Chimney sweep.

These tongue-twisters don’t carry a deep meaning that justifies their length. The first seems like a nonsensical word. But since the film’s release, we use it to mean “wonderful.” This deep meaning is much lighter than the term implies.

On the other hand, Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (take a breath!) refers to a particular type of lung disease.

This deep English word might be easier to pronounce (and remember) if the name came from sources other than Latin and Greek. One option was to name it after the person who discovered it.

Another would be to name it after a famous patient, like Lou Gehrig’s disease. We often refer to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is because the hall-of-fame New York Yankees baseball player developed the condition in the 1930s.

Other than the name Lou, the word “lou” itself has many deep meanings. It comes from the Old English word lufu. This relic is related to the Latin libēre, which means “to please.” A plethora of senses stems from this meaning.

Read More: 10 Tools to Improve Your Content Creation Process

Creating new words wasn’t unique to Shakespeare. Language is alive and continues to evolve and change like any other lifeform.

Language exists to express ideas. Ideas are like viruses. Each person that they infect changes the virus a little. Each time a person uses a word, they convey an idea. They personalize the word. They help the idea, and word take on new meanings.

This on-going process is an aspect of how language evolves. And, times change. So, language and new words are one way we cope with this change. “Selfie” is a classic example of this.

This graph shows how the usage of the new word
This graph shows how the usage of the new word “selfie” exploded during 2013. The graph is made up of orange books as if they were stacked on a shelf

Digital cameras and especially smartphones, helped introduce this world into our spoken vocabulary. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Oxford Dictionaries accepted it as a “real” word. This was a polemic addition.

You can invent any deep English words you want. And impart the meaning you want. But, you can’t always guarantee a place for it in the lexicon.

How you can use Deep English Words (Do try This at Home)

This collection of deep English words is far from exhaustive. We’ll continue to add to it. But, get started with these potential meaning adventures that your vocabulary can embark on.

Nonce Words

A nonce word is a particular-occasion-serving word. I just made up one! Nonce words can come as hyphenated compounds.

Dictionaries and friends don’t have to embrace nonce words for them to be words. Actually, by definition, this would defeat the deep meaning of a nonce word. If a nonce formation hits the mainstream, it loses its status as a for-the-once word… Oops! I did it again.

Word and Name Blending

You can also merge the meanings and sounds of words. This is to convey deeper meanings that extend far down the semantic rabbit hole.

Sir Ken Dodd did this to a significant comedic effect. He specialized in blending meanings to create comic portmanteau words. You can interpret the definition of “Titilifarious” if you know it’s a blend of titillating and hilarious. He merges plump and sumptuous into plumtuous.

Celebrity couple name combinations shown on headstones because these couples are no longer together. This is an example of deep words in English.
Celebrity couple name combinations are shown on headstones because these couples are no longer together. This is an example of deep words in English.

Onomatopoeia

Though it sounds like one of his Frankensteins, mellifluous isn’t a Dodd creation. It’s an actual word, and it is mellifluous.

Just like sonorous, it is an example of a deep English word with a deep sound. “Mellifluous” means a sweet and musical sound. “Sonorous” means an imposing and full sound.

You can like this type of deep English word to an onomatopoeia. This is a word that sounds like what it means (just like the word onomatopoeia itself).

Lost Depth

Crutch words or phrases are easy to abuse, especially in spoken English. They exist in other languages, too. Examples are:

  • Like
  • I mean
  • So
  • You know
  • Literally

They provide the speaker with time to think and the writer with space to emphasize. While they do carry a meaning of their own right, they often add no sense to a statement.

But here is something meta: even though they seem empty, are they a bi-product of consciousness? A word so deep we don’t yet fully understand its meaning?

Words invented by Shakespeare are arranged to create a portrait of the English playwright
Words invented by Shakespeare are arranged to create a portrait of the English playwright

Literally” sadly became another abused word. Its real meaning is ironically going into oblivion. It used to mean “word for word” without hyperbole. But many people use it to emphasize things that aren’t true.

How to Add Your Own Words to the English Language

Every time you read something, you learn something. You might learn a new word. Every time you have a conversation with someone, you learn something. You might expose yourself to a new idea. Or, think of something in a way you never thought of it before.

I spend a lot of time contemplating artificial intelligence and if it is truly able to read and interpret information as a person does. Does that make it conscious? Does that make it intelligent?

Algorithms like Google’s RankBrain can read and interpret content and rank it in search engine results based on that analysis. Content optimization software like INK for All does the same thing.

As you write, INK reads and interprets your content in real-time. And just like a person, it learns more about the English language every time you use it. You may even teach it new words whether you invent them or just use them for the first time.

If the INK spellchecker feature encounters a word it doesn’t know, it gives you the option to add it to the dictionary.

Using deep English words will help differentiate your content. Using content editors like INK enables you to shore up your writing. This helps make sure your unique content has the best chance of competing with similar content already out there. Using INK also helps add your own deep English words to our ever-growing lexicon.

Help INK get smarter for free while contributing to the language you know and love.

Let’s get English to the two million mark ASAP. Invent a Deep English Word and add it as a comment here.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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