I have the word crocodile in the experiment that I’m doing right now. I didn’t expect it to rate so highly on emotionality. I suppose that people are scared of crocodiles! Another one that quite surprised me was the word nazi in my German experiment (this really showed me how reactions to some of the words depend on the language and culture!).
I’m using a database of emotional words to pick mine from, so a lot of people have rated them. If you are interested in checking which words people think are the most emotional, you can download an excel sheet from this site: http://crr.ugent.be/archives/1003
It’s called the affective ratings, and if you sort the spreadsheet by a column called A.Mean.Sum it will show you which words are the most emotional 🙂 Insanity is number one on the English list