Friday, September 17, 2010

Alternate words for...

Hi all!

I know I've written a blog on the alternate words for said before, but just had to post it again.  Also, I found some great alternates for 'good and bad,' as well as tone vocabulary (positive and negative). Hope this helps you as it did me!

Alternatives to “Said”:

(Note: I'm sorry I was unable to format the following into columns for easier reading)

added corrected insisted ranted

wept admitted cried laughed

reminded whispered answered

croaked lied replied wondered

argued crowed mentioned requested

yelled asked dared murmured

roared babbled decided muttered

sassed bawled declared named

sighed bet demanded nodded

smiled blurted denied nudged

spoke bragged ended offered

smirked bugged exclaimed ordered

snickered called explained panted

stammered cautioned expressed pleaded

stated chatted fretted praised

stuttered cheered gasped prayed

suggested chuckled greeted promised

tempted coaxed hinted questioned

told confessed informed quoted wailed

Less Common Alternatives to “Said”

admonished droned projected vocalized affirmed enjoined quibbled volunteered alleged enumerated quipped assented espoused quizzed bantered estimated rebuked bemoaned evinced recited berated exhorted rejoiced broached indicated renounced cajoled intoned retorted carped jeered revealed challenged jested scowled cited lamented simpered claimed leered speculated communicated mocked sputtered conceded needled squelched demurred opined stipulated denounced outlined stormed disclosed presented theorized drawled proffered uttered

Alternatives to “Good” and “Bad”

Words to use in place of “Good”:

excellent valuable benefit masterpiece pride gem precious jewel brilliant treasure

model prince angel beneficial profit

improve asset divine heavenly useful advantageous elite edifying genuine moderate

tiptop virtuous favorable dandy well behaved

perfect fresh

Words to use in place of “Bad”:

hurtful ill evil pest plague thorn abuse oppression persecution outrage atrocity torture mischief rotten vicious

misbehave trespass deviate decayed decomposed putrid tainted burden imperfect wicked reprehensible deteriorated corrosive

Tone Vocabulary


Positive Tone/Attitude Words

lighthearted, hopeful, exuberant, enthusiastic, confident, cheery, optimistic, loving

amused, elated, sympathetic, compassionate

complimentary, passionate, proud, sunny

bright, shining, brilliant, intelligent

whimsical, bantering, wit

Negative Tone/Attitude Words


angry, disgusted, outraged, furious

wrathful, bitter, irritated, indignant

threatening, accusing, condemnatory, inflammatory


scornful, disdainful, contemptuous, sarcastic

cynical, condescending, critical, facetious, patronizing, satiric, sardonic, mock-heroic, irreverent, mock-serious, ironic, flippant


somber, elegiac, melancholic, sad, disturbed, mournful, solemn, serious, apprehensive, concerned, fearful, despairing, gloomy, sober, foreboding, hopeless, staid, resigned

Neutral Tone/Attitude Words

formal objective incredulous nostalgic ceremonial candid shocked reminiscent restrained clinical baffled sentimental objective disbelieving questioning urgent instructive matter-of-fact admonitory learned factual didactic informative authoritative



  1. Thanks for this list, Lori! Trust you are doing well.


  2. hi Lori :)
    on the "said" thing. I think it's worth noting that the alternatives to "said" have to be sprinkled lightly, like seasoning. Too many, and they just plain stick out.

    I've had to work at my obsession with using pretty words, remembering- most of the time, a plain "said" disappears instead of sticking out. And, if you use an alternative, use it precisely.

    I don't say this because I master at it, but because I groan in my laboring at it.

    --said Lynn, Ha!