Expand Your Vocabulary?

EnhanceMyVocabulary-logoHeather Harper I Borderline Press I May 3, 2016

A few weeks ago, I talked about “kismet” and how I came to learn of it. It was a random coincidence, finding kismet while looking up “”; which was one neat way to learn a new word, but what about thinking outside of the ?

Here are three ways to expand your vocabulary, without cracking open Merriam Webster’s 2nd Edition (which, by the way, happened to be the late Antonin Scalia’s favorite version):


  1. Read a classic.Modern English has definitely changed since I was a kid, with texting and emojis being used as a new form of communication, especially between young people. Classical is rather formal and somewhat old-fashioned, but there are slews of unknown words to be uncovered. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson is a great example; the Old Sea Dog in the first chapter dies of “apoplexy”; which is what, exactly? You’ll have to look it up to find out.Side note: when I first looked that word up to understand what happened to the pirate, I discovered that Stevenson died the same way years later.
  2. Research court cases.As a legal assistant student, I am fascinated by the law; constitutional law is my favorite area of study. Supreme Court cases are the most definitive source for interpreting constitutional law, but they also offer a plethora of words you may have never heard. Beware though, because many legal phrases are based on Latin, so be ready to refer to Black’s Law Dictionary if you are not familiar with legalese.
  3. Play Scrabble.I have to admit, I am biased toward this game, because I love words. Aside from that, however, this game will truly increase your word power since you are forced to think of words based on the letters placed in front of you. Did you know there are many words which begin with Q that don’t require a U in the spelling? Scrabble is a great way to challenge your mind to expand you vocabulary, but how about those of us who want to play independently? Alphabear, found on Google Play, is another fun game which expands your word power and gives you a way to play in solitude.

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