Words to describe people with good/poor vocabularies. I am looking for words which I can use to describe characters and I would also like to describe their vocabularies, and explain how their vocabularies stem from their upbringing

4 Answers 4


Apparently there isn't a single good word for this. You'll go around and around defining your word.

articulate: having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently. eloquent: fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing. fluent: able to express oneself easily and articulately. expressive: effectively conveying thought or feeling. communicative: ready to talk or impart information. cogent: clear, logical, and convincing. loquacious: tending to talk a great deal; talkative. verbose: using or expressed in more words than are needed.

To express this concept, I think you need two words: well-spoken, perhaps: 1. (Linguistics) having a clear, articulate, and socially acceptable accent and way of speaking 2. spoken satisfactorily or pleasingly

The opposite word does not seem to exist either. bumbling might work, except it carries a physical connotation as well, as do inept, muddled, etc.


A wordsmith is a skilled user (or maker) of words.

A logophile is a lover of words.

A logodaedalus is cunning in words.

Someone with a poor vocabulary is necessarily illiterate or has had elementary instruction - in other words they are abecedary or abecedarian. (OED)


an extensive or sophisticated or impressive or broad vocabulary


a limited or monosyllabic or rudimentary vocabulary


I do not know of any adjectives that squarely fit the bill, however one of the following might be adaptable for your use. You should probably confirm that their definitions will fit your usage.

Good vocabulary: Eloquent, well-versed, well-spoken, erudite, articulate

Poor vocabulary: linguistically challenged, inarticulate

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.