You know when you go to use a word that you know, but don’t really KNOW, your voice pitch raises slightly? It’s a word that you may use on the reg, but when you stop to think about it, you’re not 100% confident you totally understand what it means? We’ve all got our arsenal of words we like to casually drop in conversation that makes us feel smart, but do you really know exactly what you’re saying?
So to help a sister out, we’ve compiled a crash course V-ictionary on the top 10 words from our Vee tribe where #thestruggleisreal. Because there is nothing more empowering than speaking and writing with confidence.
We all know that one completely self-absorbed guy. Whether he was an ex-fling, a guy from your course or a coworker, you might have felt the urge to call him a big fat narcissist. But before you do, you better make sure you know exactly what it means in case he calls you out. Let’s not give him an even bigger ego, ladies.
Definition: A person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
Used in a sentence: My last Bumble date was such a narcissist, he spent the whole time talking about himself! What a loser.
This is a very pretty word with a very plain meaning. Colloquial English isn’t something out of the Romance Era, it’s just everyday language or tone native to your surroundings. AKA it’s how you speak on a day-to-day basis.
Definition: Everyday language used in ordinary and informal conversation.
Used in a sentence: Guys with accents are bangin’. It makes their colloquialisms even more attractive.
They say opposites attract, but this word takes it to the extreme.
Definition: To force something or someone to go in only one direction, or to cause people to divide into two sharply contrasting groups, sets of opinions or beliefs.
Used in a sentence: We were having a great time until we started talking about politics, then I realised how polarized we were.
When you bring up with your boss that you’d like to be paid bi-weekly and she looks at you strangely. Are you getting paid twice a month or twice a week? Short answer, it could be both! Just make sure to clarify.
Definition: Done, produced or occurring every two weeks OR twice a week.
Used in a sentence: I love that the Vee newsletter is bi-weekly. I’ve got hoo-ha health hitting my inbox every two weeks! OR I wish that the Vee newsletter was bi-weekly, I’d love hoo-ha health tips hitting my inbox twice a week.
The big, more abusive version of ghosting, gaslighting has resurfaced on the dating scene as a way to emotionally manipulate another person. Made famous by a certain orange-faced politician, let’s see what exactly gaslighting is before we start throwing the word around.
Definition: Used to describe a manipulative tactic where one person seeks to gain control over another by planting seeds of doubt and uncertainty in their victim, causing them to question their memories, perceptions of reality and sanity.
Used in a sentence:
You: “My friends are really excited to meet you tonight.”
Them: “I never said I was going to come tonight? I didn’t think we were ready to meet each other’s friends yet?”
You: “Didn’t we speak about this the other day when you said you were happy to come?”
Them: “I might have said it would be nice to get to know your friends eventually, but I never said I was ready to meet them. But since you’ve already told them I’m coming, I’ll come to avoid disappointing them.”
They very well said they would come to meet your friends, but by making you second guess yourself, you’re giving them the power in the relationship and they’re gaslighting you. For more examples of gaslighting in relationships or at work, check out this guide.
We’ve thrown this one around a lot ourselves and, unfortunately, it's a little more complex than calling someone who’s super judgemental a cynic. To be a true cynic, you need to believe the worst in people. It’s a little more serious than Plain old Jane scepticism.
Definition: An inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; and are distrustful of human nature or motives.
Used in a sentence: I tried to have a conversation with Sharon today after our environmental sustainability discussion, but she’s too much of a cynic to believe recycling can make a difference in the world.
How many times have we been having a conversation and shouted out, ‘isn’t that ironic?’ And then you go quiet and start second-guessing yourself, ‘IS THAT IRONIC!?’ While it can be pretty subjective, depending on who you’re speaking to, we’ve got you covered with our irony basics.
Definition: Situational irony refers to the difference between the actual result of an event and the normal or expected result. Irony has come to be applied to events that are merely curious or coincidental.
Used in a sentence: I joined Tinder and the first person that popped up was my ex-boyfriend. How ironic is that?
Brought VS Bought:
One letter can make a world of difference. Especially with these two words. We differentiate between these two similar words by remembering this small trick: Brought has an ‘R’ like bring, which means it’s something you bring somewhere, whereas bought means you’ve purchased something.
Brought - is the past tense of the verb ‘to bring’.
Bought - is the past tense of the verb ‘to buy’
Used in a sentence: I bought another pair of Vee Underwear because I was sick of running out of my fave underwear at the end of every week. Can’t go without that sustainable bamboo yo!
Affect VS Effect:
This one is a doozy that still sends writers into mass waves of hair pulling panic. Is it an A? Is it an E? Why have we STILL not figured this out!? Never fear, Vee has an easy(ish) solution for you!
Affect - is the present tense verb for alter or influence
Effect - is the result of something that has been influenced or changed.
Used in a sentence: These two words are cousins, and when used incorrectly it sadly affects the writer while writing and could have a negative effect on the article if they get it wrong.
Confused? Just remember RAVEN:
R = Remember
A = affect is a
V = verb
E = effect is a
N = noun
Alternately VS Alternatively
Close, but no cigar. Believe it or not, these two are not interchangeable and aren’t remotely related. Anyone else been caught slipping in one of these instead of the other? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Alternately - several things are taken in turn, one after the other.
Alternatively - another choice or possibility.
Used in a sentence: Rather than alternating home-cooked dinners for our date night, alternatively we could go out to a restaurant tonight and save us from having to cook.
These are a few of our favourite words where we’re pretty sure we kind of know what they mean? Boost your confidence as well as your vernacular with our guide to kick-ass conversation skills. You’ll be speaking with eloquence in no time.
And if all else fails, just say it with confidence sista!