Woody v tinny. Do you like saying some words more than others?

I love words. Especially rounded, woody words.

Words that feel good in the mouth: sonorous, melodious.

Basically my ‘woody’ words are softer, with individual sounds formed by the lips (like p, b, d, w) and often including ‘s’ or ‘sh’ – plosives, and sibilants.

Harsher ‘tinny’ words tend to be formed by the tongue against the teeth or teeth against the lower lip (like t, f, v, c) – fricatives, although ‘c’ can be pronounced as a soft sound and goes into my woody camp.

Here are six pairs of words, examples of how I think of woody words and tinny words :

  • saucer v cup
  • jumper v skirt
  • child v kid
  • casserole v cake
  • purple v lime
  • avenue v street

I hope my words have whetted your interest into thinking of your own pairings. Perhaps you prefer the cut and thrust, cut to the chase attitude of my tinny ones? Maybe you find the take it easy, take your time nuance of my woody words irritating?

I cannot take the credit for this notion of pleasant and unpleasant sounding words. That goes to the wonderfully surreal Monty Python team who trekked every highway and byway seeking out funny bones.

If you’ve enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek, fun look at language please like and share, and add your own thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.