Why do some words like "gorge" sound ugly, and some words like "exquisite" sound pretty?

I have no idea. Perhaps a phonologist could answer this question. But let me ask a different one. Do you also find that it is the case that some "nonsense words" sound pretty and some sound ugly? Or is it also important what the word means?

However, following up on Richard's point about meaning, consider two similar sounding words:

a) gorgeous (for gorge)

b) excrement (for exquisite)

Does 'gorgeous' sound as ugly to you as does 'gorge'?

Does 'excrement' sound as pretty to you as does 'exquisite'?

I think that while there might well be words that sound pretty no matter what they mean, there is often an attaching of meaning (or content) of a word to its experienced aesthetic quality (ugly, pretty).

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