Usually when writing poems or literature, the authors looks for words that can convey their ideas faithfully. The same thing happens to the readers, when suddenly they understand the problem so clear. Mostly they're already available in the language, but sometimes one need to create a new one. In my language that kind of words are called "fine words", but how would English call it? It's the same thing with technical terms in academic fields, but what is an equivalent term in poetry?

  • How would this question be unclear or not useful?
    – Ooker
    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:48
  • 4
    Looks like a single-word request for English Language & Usage
    – muru
    Mar 9, 2018 at 10:35
  • I know it's on-topic there, but isn't this also on-topic here?
    – Ooker
    Mar 9, 2018 at 11:06
  • 1
    Dunno, I haven't voted either way. Personally I'd rather not yet another recommendation-type be allowed, at least a) not if they're on-topic elsewhere or b) not without defining minimum standards like wherever else it's on-topic. But that would be a question for Literature Meta.
    – muru
    Mar 9, 2018 at 11:12
  • 1
    However ... I don't really understand what the concept is that you're describing. Surely using "words that can convey their ideas faithfully" is just good, clear writing? (Also, what is the language in which they're called "fine words"? Knowing what we're translating from could help us to find the right phrase in English.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 9, 2018 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


One possible term is mot juste, which means (in English),

the exactly right word or phrasing. See Merrian-Webster.

I believe it also means the same thing in French. We generally use the French phrase in English because there's no good equivalent English word.

  • is it equivalent to "the right word"?
    – Ooker
    Mar 10, 2018 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Ooker: I think it's a little stronger than "the right word"; maybe "the perfect word".
    – Peter Shor
    Mar 10, 2018 at 13:17
  • so what is the difference between "mot juste" and "the perfect word"?
    – Ooker
    Mar 10, 2018 at 13:25
  • 1
    I don't think there's that much of a difference, except maybe in plural where "mots justes" would mean more than one "mot juste", whereas "perfect words" would mean an exactly right phrase.
    – Peter Shor
    Mar 10, 2018 at 13:44
  • 3

If you're referring to the creation of a completely new word, "neologism" (a new word, usage, or expression) might be what you're looking for. However, neologism doesn't have a value judgement associated with it: a neologism could be good or bad.

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