Word: raconteur

Pronunciation: rak-ahn-TƏR / rak-ən-TƏR

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


As long as we’re discussing people who love words, books, and reading, why not learn a word for lovers of storytelling too? A writer can never have too broad a vocabulary when it comes to telling tales, especially with words that add a poetic charm to their work. Surely we all know someone who’s good at telling funny stories, so it’s easy to find inspiration for a “raconteur” in our writing!

A “raconteur” is a skillful storyteller, usually of amusing anecdotes. The word arose in the early 19th century and is originally French. This noun stems from the verb raconter, meaning “to relate” or “to recount”.

Pretentious as this may come across, I admit that I love the word “raconteur” for how French it sounds. After learning words like “bibliophile” and “raconteur”, I find it interesting how many artistic words in the English language are borrowed from French, and in my opinion, they help to enhance our vocabulary. So don’t be afraid to include this word in your writing, even if (or especially if) it’s used in an ironic sense. If you like to write humorous pieces, you may be a natural “raconteur” yourself!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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