Be Playful

The A-Z of Playfulness

Posted on: 23 September 2008

Your one stop reference guide to all things playful.

Photo by shibainu.


adventure, n. 1. being brave enough to do the things that make your feel alive; 2. everyday life
angels, n. ordinary people
art, n. making something beautiful


bouncy, adj. the word to remember when choosing new chairs, shoes, beds, or carpets
bubbles, vb. ability to float carefree through the world


conversation, n. art involving more than one person.  Often created using words
conflict, n. creativity waiting to happen; the midwife of creativity
creativity, n. being yourself
children, n. playful people
clown, vb. making sensible look silly; turning foolishness to wisdom
celebration, n. playful memory
curiosity, n. 1. remembering to look everywhere for goodness, magic and beauty, even when the world laughs at you for doing so; 2. refusing to accept anything at face value


Photo by D&J Huber.

doodle, vb. 1. the realisation that art can be done by anyone; 2. playful art
delight, vb. the ability to see the wonder in everyday things
dancing, vb. playful movement
danger, n. boredom, blind habit, addiction, workaholism
dream, vb. remembering your true self


everyday, n. opposite of mundane
enchantment, vb. to get lost in wonder


fairy-land, n. 1. the bottom of your garden; 2. anywhere you choose
freedom, n. embracing your limitations as strengths


grace, n. giving and expecting nothing back
gratitude, n. remembering to say thank you


happiness, n. gratitude for being alive
hope, vb. knowing that things always get better
humour, n. knowing that things could always be worse


innocence, n. seeing the light in everyone’s soul


joy, n. the emotion of play
jumping, vb. when standing still is not an option


Photo by striatic.
knitting, vb. weaving together the threads of your life into a beautiful, colourful, unique and playful pattern


listening, vb. grace-full conversation
life, n. one big clowning adventure of artful doodles, magical enchantment, everyday delight, sleepy wonder and risky conflict
laughter, n. the noise of a person fully alive


magic, n. reality


nonsense, n. 1. money; 2. power; 3. violence; 4. common sense


optimism, n. 1. see ‘hope’; 2. see ‘humour’


playfulness, n. a state of being.  Describes what an ideal world would be abundant with
peace, n. the soul of playfulness


Photo by Alorza.

quiet, n. where playful ideas are formed


radiant, n. the countenance of playfulness.  Cannot be acquired through make-up or plastic surgery.
randomness, n. playful order


sleep, n. the most creative place in all the world
social justice, n. the aim of playfulness
sacred space, n. anywhere playful acts are committed
sparkles, n. those little bits of magic that make life special.  Noticed and given away by exceptional people
sunshine, n. the source of sparkles, smiles, stories, dreams and angels
smiles, n. 1. little things that make a big difference; 2. things that make someone else’s day
spontaneity, n. playful planning


tension, n. see conflict


ubuntu, vb. embracing others, helping others to be playful, to live out their dreams and be fully alive


vivacity, vb. waking up after a good night’s sleep
vitality, n. the knowledge that playfulness need have no correlation with being young.  Usually found in older people.


wonder, vb. a sense of awe at the beauty of each human being and the world we live in
work, vb. fulfilling your potential.  Sometimes known as life


excitement, n. early morning feeling at the possibilities that lie ahead
exhilaration, n. felt when fears are confronted, dreams are followed, and adventures are lived


yummy, n. playful food


zippy, adj. speedy without rushing
zany, adj. has something important to say
zigzag, n. playful direction
zing, n. the curiosity, desire and bravery needed to start a creative act

Photo by Anonymous Account.


25 Responses to "The A-Z of Playfulness"

David, I think this one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Thanks.

Joanna, Thank You, that means a lot to me.

Hi David – What an ingenious way to write a post on playfulness. I’m still smiling over the picture of the cow.

I think this is a brilliant post, David. It has really inspired me and I want to print it out and stick it somewhere so that everyday I can glance at one of the letters and feel as I do right now. Thank you for such a great and exciting post.

Hi David,
thanks for the positive sprinklings of words – I’m always on the lookout for things that make people happy…heavens know we need more happy things nowadays. Your post made my day quite a bit brighter – thanks!

What a delightful alphabet, and a scrumptious blog, too. I’ll be back to explore.

David, this is delightful! So creative, and a wonderful way of emphasizing that there’s play in everything we do. My favorite is, “doodle, vb. 1. the realisation that art can be done by anyone.”

Love it, love it! And like Barbara, I’m digging the cow.

I’ve not been online much as I’ve been pushing on with the thesis, but I just had to leave you a comment on this post. I absolutely love what you’ve done here. It’s so imaginative and so lovely. Well done!
I’m off to promote it on Twitter and StumbleUpon…

I’m a first time visitor, directed here by Amy. This post is brilliant! Absolutely love it, you have found some really great definitions. I especially love the conflict definition…so true!

I’m off to explore your blog further. This sure tastes like more.

I’m really glad that this inspired you. Do keep reading for more.

Delighted to have brighted your day. Amber Simmons has something brilliant to say on the power of words here.

Having fun exploring. I look forward to your future comments.

Thanks for visiting. Share the cow-love by favouriting the picture on Flickr.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by amidst hefty tomes and thesis writing. I’m delighted you enjoyed it so much, and all promotions are much appreciated 🙂

Glad you like it here, you’re very welcome. Enjoy your explorations.

I found you through Amy’s twitter! So glad that I did! What a wonderful post and great site! We thrive on playfulness and we tour the world, thus I am thrilled to have found you!

Joanna recommended your post and I sure am glad I read it. Inspirational and fun – my favorite combination. The images a wonderful as well. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

Thanks for the wonderful alphabet. I especially liked – “curiosity, n. 1. remembering to look everywhere for goodness, magic and beauty” – it’s good to be reminded, in a playful way, of course!

Hi Soul Travelers, really glad you found us at Touring the world sounds like a lot of fun.

Brad – thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. Searching for images on flickr is one of my favourite parts of putting together a blog post.

Hilary – one of my favourite ways of looking everywhere for goodness, magic and beauty is by taking photographs. See my post The colours of everyday life.

[…] The A-Z of Playfulness: If you are looking for a one word mantra or just a word for the day, check out this very creative and enlightening post on the meaning of words related to playfulness. […]

What a wonderful set of rule to follow in life.

Liss’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

Very nice beplayful dictionary! I think we should refer back to it most of times in our life.

AxeCity’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I sure like this post! I’m glad to find that angels, sacrad space and fairies are included.

Evelyn Lim’s last blog post..please update commentluv plugin

I never thought of applying the words as rules for life – that would be a cool thing to try.

I’m probably the person who needs to refer back to it most of all! I think I write this blog to remind myself how to be playful.

Thanks for sharing that you appreciated angels, sacred space and fairies. I’m never quite sure what people will make of my religious faith in this supposedly secular world.

A very playful list! 🙂

Thank you Suzy 🙂

[…] post The A-Z of Playfulness makes my heart sing! Sing. Tra-la-la-la-la & la […]

I’d like to add one to this list. Enjoy. 🙂

(I came here from Bernie’s site,

[…] “Your one-stop reference guide to all things playful.”  Read More… […]

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