Using New Words

I am fascinated with words. That goes with the territory of being a writer, as we’re “arrangers of words.”

When I was in elementary school, Mondays were when my classmates and I would receive new spelling words for the week. We’d have to copy them down, and then, define them. Sometimes we’d be asked to use them in a sentence.  I’d always go home at night and ask my mother to query me to make sure I knew how to correctly spell my words. I took pride in knowing my spelling list when we’d have our spelling quiz on Thursday. offers a daily email. They send out their “word of the day.” I’ve been able to add new words to my vocabulary on the strength of their emails. Reading regularly also contributes to having a healthy vocabulary, too.

I don’t recall where it was this week that I ran across the word nadir. Something about the look of the word (the “ir” at the end also adds to its appeal) and the fact that I never hear anyone in my life using it only adds to the word’s mystique.

Nadir means, the lowest level; a low point; rock-bottom. As in, “the United States still has a ways to go before reaching its political nadir.”

An antonym of nadir might be, zenith.

Go ahead and look it up. Feel free to use it in a sentence, too.

2 thoughts on “Using New Words

  1. My vocabulary comes from reading almost constantly as a child and young adult. It is sort of amazing how at least in my daily life I never hear words or use words spoken like the word nadir, as an example. Kind of reminds me of the word radar. Once in awhile I surprise myself and a “big” word comes out of me. And I feel sort of surprised at myself. I love honest communication. That in itself can be a double-edged sword.

    I am glad to have my husband who is a man of little and sometimes no words…so we make a pretty good team. He thinks a lot of what I say is funny and laughs often at my observations of life and my commentary as we go on rides in our car.

    I will have to really think about how to use this new word you have introduced. Reading your column is a zenith of my day….thanks again for another thoughtful and educational one.

  2. “Nadir” is a great word for our times. Only problem is, it leaves nothing for the times coming our way.

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