Words That Make You Sound Smart – 12 Ideas

Getting ready for a job interview at a big company? Meeting your girlfriend’s parents, a couple of Harvard professors? Got a hot date with an English major? May we suggest using words that make you sound smart?

You’re gonna need to step up your game in the language department….

The trick to using words that make you sound smart like a pro is to make sure you’re completely on point and use them sparingly. Know that fool who managed to drop the word strategy in every paragraph at work? Yeah, we all think they’re a bozo too. Everything isn’t a strategy and you don’t need to demonstrate you can turn strategy into a verb, adjective, adverb, and pronoun (we’re pushing it with that one, but you get my point). Say it ONCE and be completely right….

So without further preening, her’s our list of a dozen words that make you sound smart:

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Unscrambling Words – Some Surprising Results…

It’s always interesting to find words lurking inside other words – so we went hunting. For this exercise, we used our word unscrambler to find anagrams and word fragments. We also used a word pattern analyzer to find words which contained that fragment. The results have been assembled in a narrative (more or less) for your general amusement.

Lets start with a handful of direct anagrams:

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Fun Family Game Nights

Summer is here and we’ve started a new tradition in our house, as part of our continuing effort to reduce the amount of television our kids are watching. About three or four times a week, we will break out some old fashioned board games and play them around the table. We’ve got two kids – a five year old and a six year old – so everyone is old enough to get in on the fun.

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Introducing “Anagram Families”

One of the things that sparked my interest in this site was the idea of “anagram families”, sets of words where the members are direct anagrams of each other. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to write a Python program to crunch through a dictionary (I’m using Enable as my primary dictionary for this project, although others exist – results will vary) and identify sets of related words.

A simple example is GOAT, which is a direct anagram of TOGA. Makes you wonder exactly how wild those ancient parties got.

You can also have indirect anagrams – where you split the original word into multiple words. WINE => WE IN, clearly a reference of the bonding value of drinking with your clients and prospects. In contrast BEER => BE ER, a ominous note. So the next time you’re trying to close a deal, break out the good stuff!

Scotch was a non-starter – no direct anagrams and the single vowel made it hard to build a set of indirect anagrams. I tried a couple of other forms of hard liquor with similar results.

To play along at home, you can use our Scrabble Helper – enter the letters in the word you are interested in and look at the items on the list of possible words which use all the letters in your hand.