The Meaning of (the Vocabulary of) Mariah Carey

Mimi the Articulate Logophile (lover of words)

Mariah Carey is a living legend, making her indelible mark on music history with a multi-octave voice and a record-breaking string of hits that spans four decades. However, it’s also worth noting that this diva is an accomplished songwriter, writing or co-writing the vast majority of her catalog. Like the signature high notes of her vocals, Mimi’s lyrics also have a distinctive quality, namely her penchant for using words you don’t often hear in mainstream music and just might need a dictionary for. So let’s take a moment to fete the Emancipated Chanteuse and her extensive vocabulary.


· The Song: “Breakdown” from the album Butterfly

· The Definition: {adjective} coolly unconcerned, indifferent, or unexcited; casual:

· The Lyric: Well I guess I’m trying to be/ Nonchalant about it/And I’m going to extremes/ To prove I’m fine without you


· The Song: “Bliss” from the album Rainbow

· The Definition: {adjective} delicious; highly pleasing; enjoyable:

· The Lyric: So gimme some pure delectable love/ Like I’m gonna give to you


· The Song: “My All” from the album Butterfly

· The Definition: {verb} inscribed prominently on a surface:

· The Lyric: I can see you clearly vividly emblazoned in my mind


· The Song: “Petals” from the album Rainbow

· The Definition: {noun} a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage:

· The Lyric: A boy and girl befriended me/ We’re bonded through despondency


· The Song: “Languishing” from the album Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel

· The Definition: {adjective} failing to make progress or be successful:

· The Lyric: I was wondering/ Would you reach for me/ If you saw that I was languishing


· The Song: “Twister” from the album Glitter

· The Definition: {adjective} vivacious and enthusiastic:

· The Lyric: Childlike and effervescent/ With a well of pain the depth of/ I could not imagine if I tried


· The Song: “Melt Away” from the album Daydream

· The Definition: {verb} speak or write about someone or something with great enthusiasm and delight:

· The Lyric: Thoughts run wild as I sit and rhapsodize/ Pretty pictures of what I’d do if you were mine

That’s all, dahlings!

What are your favorite Mariah word choices? Sound off in the comments!



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Jason Pure

iWrite things with music and without. You can try singing them all though.