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Stilted is The Weekly Word: What’s YOUR Alternative Meaning?

I dug out my trusty Thesaurus when I was planning the words for this slot to the end of the year, and when I spotted the word ‘Stilted’ I knew that there would be a great alternative meaning in there. I could have gone with something along a cheesy theme, or a circus them or even a ‘staying where you are theme’; but in fact I chose the alcohol route and my alternative meaning is ‘a higher qualification in brewing poteen”.

Go on, what’s your alternative meaning?

This week’s word is STILTED, it is an ADJECTIVE and is pronounced ‘stilt-id’

The word stilted means to be artificially formal or more pompous in either speech or the written word. It can be used to refer to a conversation which refuses to flow smoothly; where the conversation is forced. It is also an architectural term meaning an arch that has vertical columns between the impost and the springing.
Examples of the word Stilted
  • Their stilted conversation indicated that he would not be a suitable companion on lonely, cold evenings in the Winter
  • Her presentation was stilted and confused, she stumbled with the words regularly and it was painful to watch
  • The words on a company website can often be stilted and dry, as if they are apologising for their very presence.

Origins of the word Stilted

The word Stilted was originally used in the 1610–20 and is derived from the word ‘stilt’ meaning one of at least two posts, and the past participle, ‘ed’.

Why the Weekly Word?

The idea of the Weekly Word comes from Toastmasters International. At each meeting we have a Grammarian whose role is to encourage members to try out new words that stretch our vocabulary, as well as to monitor and report back on people’s use of language. If you’d like to find out more about Toastmasters groups in your area then you can visit their website at:

If you would like to see previous Weekly Words on this blog and try out your own alternative meanings, you can find them all listed here: the-weekly-word

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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