Most Popular Favorite Words

 

To help you further in finding more favorite words for your list, I’ll provide you with various research and studies on most favorite words including my own research.

A survey in Japan conducted by professor Takeshi Sato of Hitotsubashi University, which was financed by Japan’s Information and Cultural Research Society, surveyed a cross-section of Japanese society and revealed that Japan’s most favorite word is “EFFORT” and current top ten words are:

  1. Effort
  2. Sincerity
  3. Freedom
  4. Peace
  5. Love
  6. Thoughtfulness
  7. Trust
  8. Thanks
  9. Health
  10. Dreams

The words, according to Sato, seem to reflect a changing national work-ethic. Words like freedom appeared for the first time, which may indicate that workers are starting to chafe at the structure of Japan’s corporate society. Also, differences in answers between young people and older people show a distinctive shift in values and beliefs. People in their twenties ranked “freedom” as the top word, while those who were forty or older ranked “effort” on top with “freedom” far behind. The word “health” also appeared for the first time in Sato’s research and reflects a growing concern held by the aging portion of the population.

As an experiment, Michael Michalko, the author of “Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques” (Publisher: Ten Speed Press, 2006), decided to mimic the Japanese survey. In a period of two years, he asked friends, family, acquaintances, business associates and participants in his seminars and think tanks to freely list, in order of importance, their top ten favorite words that in some way represented their life. 150 people participated. “PEACE” was chosen to be at the top. Here is the result which represents the average of their responses:

  1. Peace
  2. Equality
  3. Security
  4. Prosperity
  5. Love
  6. Fun
  7. Compensation
  8. Acknowledgement
  9. Freedom
  10. Health

An administrator of a nursing home conducted a similar survey of fifty patients and the following list reflects the average of their top ten word responses, where “GOD” tops it all:

  1. God
  2. Faith
  3. Family
  4. Health
  5. Friends
  6. Thanks
  7. Giving
  8. Honesty
  9. Independence
  10. Sharing

A group of professional salespeople were asked to list their favorite words that describe their current values and beliefs about selling. The word “CUSTOMER” turned out to be most important. Here is the list, in order of importance, that the group agreed best typified their consensus:

  1. Customer
  2. Service
  3. Freedom
  4. Independent
  5. Problem-solving
  6. Dedication
  7. Knowledgeable
  8. Integrity
  9. Skills
  10. Motivation

In 1970, Yale University did a study of the most persuasive words in the English language. They claim that the most persuasive word is “YOU”:

  1. You
  2. Money
  3. Save
  4. New
  5. Result
  6. Health
  7. Easy
  8. Safety
  9. Love
  10. Discovery
  11. Proven
  12. Guaranteed

Surveying more than 7,000 English speakers in 46 countries, the British Council decided on “MOTHER” — an unglamorous word, yet one that conveys comfort and the deepness of human relationships. Some 35,000 other people registered their favorites in an online poll run in the non-English speaking countries where the council operates, so here are the top seventy chosen words:

  1. Mother
  2. Passion
  3. Smile
  4. Love
  5. Eternity
  6. Fantastic
  7. Destiny
  8. Freedom
  9. Liberty
  10. Tranquillity
  11. Peace
  12. Blossom
  13. Sunshine
  14. Sweetheart
  15. Gorgeous
  16. Cherish
  17. Enthusiasm
  18. Hope
  19. Grace
  20. Rainbow
  21. Blue
  22. Sunflower
  23. Twinkle
  24. Serendipity
  25. Bliss
  26. Lullaby
  27. Sophisticated
  28. Renaissance
  29. Cute
  30. Cosy
  31. Butterfly
  32. Galaxy
  33. Hilarious
  34. Moment
  35. Extravaganza
  36. Aqua
  37. Sentiment
  38. Cosmopolitan
  39. Bubble
  40. Pumpkin
  41. Banana
  42. Lollipop
  43. If
  44. Bumblebee
  45. Giggle
  46. Paradox
  47. Delicacy
  48. Peekaboo
  49. Umbrella
  50. Kangaroo
  51. Flabbergasted
  52. Hippopotamus
  53. Gothic
  54. Coconut
  55. Smashing
  56. Whoops
  57. Tickle
  58. Loquacious
  59. Flip-flop
  60. Smithereens
  61. Oi
  62. Gazebo
  63. Hiccup
  64. Hodgepodge
  65. Shipshape
  66. Explosion
  67. Fuselage
  68. Zing
  69. Gum
  70. Hen night

American Heritage Word Frequency Book by John B. Carroll reports these most popular words:

  1. the
  2. of
  3. and
  4. a
  5. to
  6. in
  7. is
  8. you
  9. that
  10. it
  11. he
  12. for
  13. was
  14. on
  15. are
  16. as
  17. with
  18. his
  19. they
  20. at
  21. be
  22. this
  23. from
  24. I
  25. have
  26. or
  27. by
  28. one
  29. had
  30. not
  31. but
  32. what
  33. all
  34. were
  35. when
  36. we
  37. there
  38. can
  39. an
  40. your
  41. which
  42. their
  43. said
  44. if
  45. do
  46. will
  47. each
  48. about
  49. how
  50. up
  51. out
  52. them
  53. then
  54. she
  55. many
  56. some
  57. so
  58. these
  59. would
  60. other
  61. into
  62. has
  63. more
  64. her
  65. two
  66. like
  67. him
  68. see
  69. time
  70. could
  71. no
  72. make
  73. than
  74. first
  75. been
  76. its
  77. who
  78. now
  79. people
  80. my
  81. made
  82. over
  83. did
  84. down
  85. only
  86. way
  87. find
  88. use
  89. may
  90. water
  91. long
  92. little
  93. very
  94. after
  95. words
  96. called
  97. just
  98. where
  99. most
  100. know

Here are the most popular words by the Guinness Book of World Records:

  1. the
  2. of
  3. and
  4. to
  5. a
  6. in
  7. that
  8. is
  9. I
  10. it
  11. for
  12. as

Frequency Analysis of English Vocabulary and Grammar based on the LOB Corpus by Stig Johansson and Knut Hofland:

  1. the
  2. of
  3. and
  4. to
  5. a
  6. in
  7. that
  8. is
  9. was
  10. it
  11. for
  12. he
  13. as
  14. with
  15. be
  16. on
  17. I
  18. his

Most popular words in the works of William Shakespeare:

  1. the
  2. and
  3. I
  4. to
  5. of
  6. a
  7. you
  8. my
  9. that
  10. in
  11. is
  12. not
  13. with
  14. as
  15. for
  16. it
  17. me
  18. his
  19. be
  20. he

And finally, here is a top one hundred most popular favorite words from the first two thousand members of FavoriteWords.com:

(Third column shows how many members have it in their list of favorite words among 2300 members)

  1. Love              317
  2. Music             96
  3. Family           82
  4. Happy           75
  5. Life                70
  6. Peace             70
  7. Nature           58
  8. Happiness     57
  9. Freedom       56
  10. Fun                55
  11. God                49
  12. Beautiful       48
  13. Awesome      47
  14. Travel           47
  15. Serendipity   47
  16. Passion         43
  17. Smile             41
  18. Art                 39
  19. Books            38
  20. Hope             38
  21. Money           36
  22. Beauty           35
  23. Friends         34
  24. Creativity      32
  25. Joy                 32
  26. Writing          31
  27. Lovely           29
  28. Rain               28
  29. Chocolate      28
  30. Friend           28
  31. Home            27
  32. Amazing        27
  33. Water            27
  34. Food              27
  35. Sex                 27
  36. Dream           26
  37. Trust             25
  38. Success         25
  39. Coffee            25
  40. Sweet            25
  41. Inspiration    24
  42. Design           24
  43. Nice               24
  44. Creative        24
  45. Sky                 23
  46. Knowledge   23
  47. Cool               23
  48. Truth             22
  49. Marketing     22
  50. Light              22
  51. Business       21
  52. Gratitude      21
  53. Faith              21
  54. Sun                21
  55. Dog                21
  56. Adventure    21
  57. Words           20
  58. Snow             20
  59. Dance            20
  60. Social Media20
  61. Cat                 20
  62. Friendship    19
  63. Education     19
  64. Wisdom        19
  65. Laughter       19
  66. Heart             19
  67. Reading         19
  68. Ocean            18
  69. Power           18
  70. Imagination  18
  71. Compassion  18
  72. Dreams         18
  73. Universe       18
  74. Serenity        18
  75. Beach            18
  76. Soul               18
  77. Petrichor      18
  78. Health           17
  79. Movies          17
  80. Respect         17
  81. Science          17
  82. History          17
  83. Jesus              17
  84. Kindness       17
  85. Funny            17
  86. Courage        17
  87. Work             17
  88. Technology  17
  89. Grace             17
  90. Space             16
  91. Sunset           16
  92. Integrity        16
  93. Wanderlust  16
  94. Energy          15
  95. Wow              15
  96. Children        15
  97. Sleep             15
  98. Book              15
  99. Future           15
  100. Sea                 15

All of the above most popular favorite words can be included in your list.

 

Other Appendices:

Appendix I:  Some of My Favorite Words with Thoughts

Appendix III:  Three Most Favorite Words Research

Appendix IV:  A List of Positive Words

Appendix V:  Interesting Word Facts and Word Stats

Appendix VI:  Favorite Words of Celebrities

Appendix VII:  Favorite Word Quotes