From a poll of over 15,000 people, serendipity was claimed to be the UK's favourite word.
The poll was made in the year 2000 as part of the Second Annual Festival
, and initiated by its Trustee, Bob Geldof
. Geldof started this poll as 'part parlour game
, part Domesday
The top ten results are as enjoyable as the winning word suggests, which Walpole defined as "the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident'. Just as serendipity is a word coined from a fairy tale, the close second place word is 'quidditch', a word for a fantastic game in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. It's close to existing English words 'quiddity' and 'quidnunc'. Muggle, from Rowling's books, also appeared in the top ten, as did the swear words 'fuck' and 'bollocks'.
Other made up words in the poll, but with just one or two votes, were Ralph Steadman's 'entwangled' 'combining entangled and entwined which suggests an amorous embrace between octopuses;' Kermit the Frog's 'Hi Ho', a greeting for when you've forgotten a friend's name; and 'cockadoodlechucklequack'.
The top ten list, with tying words, is:
sources: The guardian uk newspaper, my OED, and the festival of literature home page: