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Daily use English Vocabulary Words used in Speaking

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The list of words below are the most frequently used words in Spoken English. The words were selected by analyzing more than 250,000 words from hundreds of conversations.

1. Homely

Lacking in physical beauty or proportion

Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe.

2. Confront

Be face to face with

You’ve no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has “made it” is confronted, as a surprise, by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage.

3. Totter

Move without being stable, as if threatening to fall

You’ve no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has “made it” is confronted, as a surprise, by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage.

4. Mercilessly

Without pity

I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man.

5. Glisten

Be shiny, as if wet

My hair glistens in the hot bright lights.

6. Witty

Combining clever conception and facetious expression

Johnny Carson has much to do to keep up with my quick and witty tongue.

7. Envelop

Enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering

“How do I look, Mama?” Maggie says, showing just enough of her thin body enveloped in pink skirt and red blouse for me to know she’s there, almost hidden by the door.

8. Sidle

Move sideways

Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him?

9. Dingy

Thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot

I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree she used to dig gum out of; a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red hot brick chimney.

10. Pity

The humane quality of understanding the suffering of others

She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice.

11. Earnest

Characterized by a firm, humorless belief in one’s opinions

She will marry John Thomas (who has mossy teeth in an earnest face) and then I’ll be free to sit here and I guess just sing church songs to myself.

12. Soothing

Freeing from fear and anxiety

Cows are soothing and slow and don’t bother you unless you try to milk them the wrong way.

13. Furtive

Secret and sly or sordid

Furtive boys in pink shirts hanging about on washday after school.

14. Scald

Subject to harsh criticism

Impressed with her they worshiped the well-turned phrase, the cute shape, the scalding humor that erupted like bubbles in Iye.

15. Lye

A strong solution of sodium or potassium hydroxide

Impressed with her they worshiped the well-turned phrase, the cute shape, the scalding humor that erupted like bubbles in Iye.

16. Stout

Euphemisms for `fat’

Since I am stout it takes something of a push.

17. Cower

Show submission or fear

She stoops down quickly and lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me.

18. Oppress

Come down on or keep down by unjust use of one’s authority

“I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.”

19. Ream

Squeeze the juice out (of a fruit)

“I know it might sound awkward at first,” said Wangero.
“I’ll get used to it,” I said. ” Ream it out again.”

20. Doctrine

A belief accepted as authoritative by some group or school

“I accept some of their doctrines, but farming and raising cattle is not my style.”

21. Whittle

Cut small bits or pare shavings from

“Didn’t Uncle Buddy whittle it out of a tree you all used to have?”

22. Alcove

A small recess opening off a larger room

“I can use the chute top as a centerpiece for the alcove table,” she said, sliding a plate over the chute, “and I’ll think of something artistic to do with the dasher.”

23. Rifle

Go through in search of something

After dinner Dee (Wangero) went to the trunk at the foot of my bed and started rifling through it.

24. Reckon

Expect, believe, or suppose

“She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.”
“I reckon she would,” I said.

25. Heritage

Practices that are handed down from the past by tradition

“Your heritage,” she said, and then she turned to Maggie, kissed her, and said, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it.”

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