Using big words is one of the best ways you can (seem to) improve any essay or piece of creative writing. Last week, I released an article about dealing with English for those who hate the subject. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here! This week, I thought I’d build on that article by giving you some examples of specific words you could use, and how you can use them.

This is a real thing I did. I found big words that I liked the sound of. I vaguely learnt what they meant, although not in any particular depth. Then, I used them in my essay.

My teachers absolutely frothed over them. These words were golden nuggets.

By having a thesis totally different from everyone else, you already sound bloody smart. You can think for yourself, and maybe your teacher doesn’t quite understand your thesis, but they think to themselves “hmm maybe this student is smarter than me, I can’t mark them down for that!”. To really push yourself over the edge, though, use big words.

My favourite words were vicissitudes and verisimilitude. A google of “Big smart words” yields things like:





You get the idea. For a great guide vis-a-vis (fancy word, look it up) improving your vocabulary, check this out! Write yourself a list, write yourself definition, put them in a sentence in your essay and memorise that sentence. By sounding smarter, teachers will generally look more favourable on you. Since all English essays are marked dependent on whether the teacher has had their cup of coffee that morning or not, having a few extra silver bullets is always helpful.

Below, I’ve written out some great words you could use, with accompanying definitions and sentences. Within no time, you’ll be writing like a true bullshitter! Here’s an example sentence:

The quintessential aesthetic, given impetus by its assiduously clandestine nature, was a resplendent self-contained duplicitous dichotomy. The piquant sense of ennui generated a foreboding facade that would act as a facsimile, differing only in the comparison of verisimilitude and truth.’ – Jacob Silove, Lyrical Wordsmith

Now, this might be a bit much, but check out the words below for some more idea.


With regards to an appreciation of beauty.

‘Writing long sentences with big fancy words gives aesthetic pleasure to English markers’


With reference to; concerning.

‘Using big words in essays apropos of textual analysis is always beneficial’


Being very diligent and meticulous.

‘If you are assiduous in learning these words, you will certainly get a Band 6 in English’



‘To state that using big words in English will increase your mark is axiomatic’


To have an inconsistent mood.

‘Hamlet’s conduct can be described as capricious and unstable’


Something done in secret.

‘Joshua became the teacher’s pet in a slimy, clandestine manner’


Come together.

‘My plan for HSC success coalesced as I achieved all the results I had hoped for’


The point of a plot in which everything comes together and is explained/resolved.

‘The denouement of Hamlet leaves all significant characters dead, unsurprisingly’


Lacking a purpose or enthusiasm.

‘In the hour before the exam, I was left studying in a desultory manner’

Duplicitous dichotomy

A juxtaposition of two items, with what appears to be deceitful or dire outcomes.

‘Comparing the Board of Studies on one hand with actual learning on the other is a duplicitous dichotomy’



‘If only I could retain the effervescence of Year 11’


A general feeling of dissatisfaction.

‘The HSC has left me with a feeling of ennui’


Delicate and light; not of this world.

‘The day that I get to stop studying appears, in the distance, ethereal’


An external shell hiding something beneath.

‘”Do PDHPE, it’s easy!” they said. And it was, until the façade dropped away and I realised how much I needed to memorise’


An exact copy.

‘Every time I write out my English essay, its essentially a facsimile of one I had written before’


Feeling that something bad will happen.

‘As the HSC drew closer, a sense of foreboding overwhelmed me’


The thing that causes an object or idea to progress/move.

‘My trip to Europe at the end of the year is my impetus to study’


An illusion.

‘The school holidays are merely a phantasm’


Sharp taste, appetising flavour.

‘The taste of success was particularly piquant as I received my paper back, having used many big words’


Showing a lack of courage.

‘When the HSC looms before me, I will not be pusillanimous! I will prevail!’


A perfect example of a quality or class.

‘This article is a quintessential example of ways to bullshit your way through English’


Idealistic, unrealistic and impractical.

‘My goal of a 99.95 Atar is likely quixotic’


Attractive and impressive (and usually very colourful).

‘My Art major work was resplendent’


Above normal human experience.

‘And then, for one transcendent moment, I understood what my teacher was talking about’


Found everywhere.

‘The ubiquitous presence of my Principle ensured nobody swore when in the playground’


An appearance of truth or reality. ‘Adding big words to English essays lends them a touch of verisimilitude’


An unwelcomed change in circumstance. ‘Hamlet’s vicissitudes of fortune lead him to construct a heinous plan’


In relation to.

‘I still have absolutely no idea what I should do vis-à-vis my future’


Attractive, lively.

‘A want my creative writing character to be vivacious; then, she will seem more life-like!’


A gentle breeze.

‘And with that exam, my hopes for a 99.95 Atar floated away, as if on a zephr’

See you on the forum! If you want some high quality, totally free online tutoring, why don’t you check out my services here?