New Words

It was either the fresh smell of an expanding vocabulary or the sweet taste of new words on my tongue. Or perhaps the way they moved around in my mind. It was the way they sounded, like soft wings flapping against the air and the effortless inspiration they stirred while teaching me their foundations. It was 6th Grade English, 8th Grade Creative Writing, AP Literature in High School, and African American studies in College. Ms. Lang was a little woman with a big appetite for dissecting poetry and she fed us well. New words have always been motivational in provoking me to write. I would come home from school with an armful under the flap of my notebook and feast on multi-syllable honey. I would string sentences together that really made no sense because all I really wanted to do was use the words. All I really wanted to do was “simile” sentences on paper like hanging linen that I could sit back and watch as they dried. Metaphor them into something digestible. I would sit there highlighting words I didn’t know. Forget parties, all I wanted to do was crack open the mind of an author and anatomize his usage of irony. I was the sole proprietor of time that day and it never seemed to move as long as I was building. Eventually, I no longer depended on organized schooling for my fix. Instead, pocket dictionaries and thesauruses found a home in my backpack as new words found a home in my poetry. To this day I look forward to different ways to use overly used words, synonyms that could be used much simpler and give my palate something new to get excited about.

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I write to restore Black Historical Truth for the freedom of all people. Visit me online at and @yecheilyah on IG and Twitter.

11 thoughts on “New Words”

  1. Been doing some editing. What it comes down to at the final stage:
    Finding just the right word to evoke just the right fit for context and character and mood and theme …


    1. I agree with you from the final draft point of view. Here though, in the spirit of this writing, this isn’t about correcting. We are simply appreciating the beauty of the written word as it is. We aren’t concerned, at this point, with editing or perfecting. Here, we are simply creating and basking in the beauty of that. 


  2. I appreciate the content of this post. When I was in 6th grade my teacher (Mrs. Jones) had us choose a word of the day. I scoured the dictionary for two weeks before my turn, finally landing on “rambunctious”. It rolled off the tongue and aptly described my entire 6th grade class. After I presented my word, Mrs. Jones—a small stern woman who took teaching very seriously—smiled at me. She would later tell me that I had a gift for writing, which was wonderful since I loved it so much.

    To this day, I share your love for the written word and the connection it creates between people. My husband and I recently started our blog as a project to share our love of writing and connect with others.

    Great post! I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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