Some of you reading this post will have enjoyed a break from your work or studies over the summer months. You might (I hope!) be feeling refreshed and ready to throw yourself into your work (=start working with energy and enthusiasm). With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at words and phrases that relate to energy – and a lack of it! Part 1 will look at adjectives in this area and Part 2 will focus on nouns and phrases.
Let’s start with some nice near-synonyms for ‘lively’. A person who has a lot of energy may be described as energetic:
He’s tremendously energetic and hard-working.
The adjective vigorous also means ‘having great energy’ and can be used for people (especially when describing them in particular roles) or for movements:
She was, to the end, a vigorous campaigner for freedom of speech.
I try to do twenty minutes of vigorous exercise, three times a week.
The adjectives bouncy (like a ball) and effervescent (like a drink with bubbles in it) describe someone who is both energetic and happy:
Her bouncy personality and big laugh endeared her to the nation.
He’s a confident young man with a great smile and an effervescent personality.
Other ‘lively’ adjectives have different additional meanings. For example, boisterous often describes groups of people who are lively, noisy and difficult to control:
The rain didn’t seem to bother the boisterous crowd who had gathered to hear her speak.
I’d just taught a rather boisterous class of teenagers.
The adjective sprightly, meaning ‘energetic and healthy’ is often applied to older people:
A sprightly 84-year-old, Jean is a regular at these meetings.
The words energized and rejuvenated describe someone who is feeling more energetic and positive than they were before, for example after a break from work:
I’ve come back from the course feeling energized and ready to work.
A good holiday should leave you feeling rejuvenated and able to take on life’s challenges.
If someone is tireless or (formal) indefatigable, they continue to be energetic and motivated over a long period, sometimes despite difficulties:
He remained a tireless promoter of the game well into his eighties.
She was also an indefatigable campaigner against cruelty to animals.
I’ll finish this post with a few adjectives that mean the opposite. If you feel lethargic or listless, you have little energy or interest in anything:
The medication had left her feeling lethargic and depressed.
Ever since she had flu she’s been quite listless.
A (UK) lacklustre (US) lackluster performance or display lacks energy and excitement:
The fans, fed up with their team’s lacklustre performance, started booing.
Finally, someone who is burnt-out is exhausted with no energy, usually because they have been working too hard:
By the time we’d recorded the fourth album, I was burnt-out.
If you found this post interesting, do look out for the next one in which I look at nouns and phrases relating to energy.
7 thoughts on “Bouncy and boisterous (Language relating to energy, Part 1)”
I really missed your posts. And this helps me return my energy that I lost since morning
Hi, Kate Woodford. Thanks for your post. I think this is a wonderful post about energy. It really helps me.
What an energetic selection!
It took me a long time to realise that “indefatigable” was connected to FATIGUE and the lack of it – and the letters seemed to tumble around.
[mostly the G and the T].
Boisterous can also be applied to an individual – and how you found/find your “boister”.
Probably a lot of people who have had COVID-19 and the long COVID feel listless.
And “tireless” became a word worm.
“Vital” is a good synonym for lively.
Thank you for such Wonderfull vocabularies, before few minutes I’m feeling very lethargic and listless but after ready you article , I received a very positive energy and felt rejuvenated and energized
Thanks for these ones and will be looking forward to the next week blog
AThanks a lot for your post!It really helps me to enrich my vocabulary. Looking forward to the next one.