Merriment with Synonyms


We writers love to find just the right words, don’t we? I recently bought a 1978 edition of J. I. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder—a three-inch thick paperback tome.

It’s chock full of good words! 


May I recommend a few?


1.  Instead of prank, why not use monkeyshine?

“Timmy, are you responsible for this monkeyshine? Clean up this cat hair and wash your hands for supper!”


2.  Instead of settlement or understanding, how about the elegant rapprochement?

The attorneys came to a speedy rapprochement after the judge said, “Five more minutes, fellas, and I’m outta here.”


3.  As a substitute for malcontent, why not use demagogue?

“Keep a sharp eye on Dan McGlubber,” the sheriff said. “He’s a demagogue with something to prove.”


4.  Instead of lackadaisical, consider dilatory.

Mrs. Helms sighed. "Ever since Robert bought that super-deluxe recliner, he's gone from relaxed to plain ole dilatory."


5.  And how can you miss with replacing succinct with epigrammatic?

The CEO smacked the board room table. “Give me the facts, people, and keep it epigrammatic, sweet, and to the point.”



For a little extra mirth, here’s a test. Can you figure out the titles of these novels? Leave your conjectures in the comments, and I’ll post the actual titles in two weeks. (Hint: All were published within the past five years.) Have fun!


1.   The Aptitude of Plummeting

2.   Summoning Me to my Old Abode

3.   The All You Can Concept Sideboard

4.   La Belle Demimondaine

5.   The Creation of Appendages

6.   Vanished Tarn

7.   The Depicted Lassies

8.   Lodging on the Joint of Acerbic and Nectarian

9.   The Wee Hours Spectacle

10. The Customary Practices of Politeness







Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Andrea Blythe (Tuesday, 10 June 2014 14:11)

    Ah, very cool! Synonyms can be great fun to play with, though I always caution new writers to be careful that the new words match the voice of the character and/or the tone of the overall story.

  • #2

    Cindy Angell Keeling (Wednesday, 11 June 2014 08:18)

    Thanks, Andrea. Good advice!