7 Fancy Words that Make You Sound Smarter

In just a few seconds, you can add these pretty words to your vocabulary. How clever!

By Alison Caporimo
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    George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Toss: Argument

    Try: Diatribe

    Wikimedia Commons

    Toss: Fancy

    Try: Rococo

    Ken Howard/BIPs/Getty Images

    Toss: Mean

    Try: Vitriolic

    Keystone Features/Getty Images

    Toss: Afraid

    Try: Pusillanimous

    George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Toss: Brag

    Try: Bloviate

    Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

    Toss: Confident

    Try: Aplomb

    George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

    Toss: Stubborn

    Try: Pervicacious


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    Your Comments

    • Raj Grover

      I guess it would depend on your audience…

    • UVP

      Try substituting “aplomb” for “confident”?

      Okay, the writer and editor who created this article shouldn’t be quite so aplomb that they understand language well enough to write about it.

    • Carl McDonnell

      I strongly doubt anyone would “sound smarter” just by using these words. Personally, I think that a clear, concise manner of speaking is the best method of sounding more authoritative. It’s has little to do with the words you use; it’s how you use them.

    • Rorgg

      Yeah, try substituting these words when you want to sound like an idiot trying to sound smart by using words for which you don’t actually understand the meaning.

    • rw

      substitute Pretentious with Pedantic. Then you really look smart.

    • http://ipse-cogita.blogspot.com/ IpseCogita

      Most of those words don’t actually work as substitutes in most cases.

    • Tommy McNulty

      I seen her face… its nothing to whack off to trust me!

      • Yournamehere

        You would know.

    • TheMediaFairy

      Careful about mixing parts of speech. Confident and aplomb are not synonymous – confident is an adjective and aplomb is a noun. In that example, toss confident and use confidence, also a noun.
      Using ‘fancy’ words, especially if they’re not part of your peers’ everyday vocabulary, doesn’t make you sound smarter; it makes you sound pretentious. And using fancy words incorrectly will only serve to make you sound ignorant. For clear communication, speak your audience’s (listener’s) language.

    • Pat

      I sound more like a dictionary or a scrabble player with those words


      Under the words is an ad – How cruise ships fill their unsold cabins. It only shows the mid part of the woman. I guess her head, who she is, isn’t important. Only the sexual parts are important.

      • slxslippy


      • Sphynx

        You should use an adblocker if it bothers you. At first I didn’t want to use ad blockers because I thought they’d “mess up my computer” or “ruin webpages”, but it really doesn’t.
        It’s a lot nicer to read through webpages and not be distracted by what you don’t want to see and focus on the content.
        Just google “adblocker(s)” for whatever browser you have and install :))

      • elle

        Looks like they’ve changed the ad, if it’s the same one. I see all her bits.