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'Mother' is most beautiful English word

November 25, 2004 08:40 IST

'Mother' is the most beautiful word in the English language, followed by passion, smile, love and eternity, according to a worldwide survey released on Thursday.

The British Council, the government agency that promotes British culture around the globe, quizzed more than 40,000 people in 102 non-English speaking countries on their favourite words.

"It's interesting that mother, the only word of the 70 that describes a direct relationship between people, came top of the poll," said British Council spokesman Greg Selby.

Father didn't make the list at all. Fantastic, destiny, freedom, liberty and tranquility filled out the top 10 ranking of most beautiful English words, out of a list of 70 words -- a number deliberately chosen to mark the British Council's 70th anniversary.

Others that made the grade included lollipop at number 42, flip-flop (59), hen night (70) and banana (41), along with
twinkle (23), hiccup (63), hodgepodge (64), whoops (56) and oi (61).

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