Is there a single word to describe someone who loves to talk/chat about lots of different things? The words I"ve found are all derogatory and I"m looking for a word that means it in an endearing way.

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Most words that describe someone who talks too much are slightly derogatory - due to the fact that it is seen as an annoyance. The nicest word you can use is: chatterbox. (Usually when describing an obnoxious child to it"s own mother.)


"Loquacious," is possibly not used enough to have any derogatory connotations.

"Sarah was certainly a loquacious woman."

The OED lists it as such:

Given to much talking; talkative.

Although I particularly like the more poetic sense 2, which is (in my opinion) an entirely positive attribute.

transf. Of birds, water, or the like: Chattering, babbling. Chiefly poet.

I"d go for directly to "talkative" and "chatty" -- I wouldn"t consider either of these inherently derogative, although people who dislike such people will obviously see it that way.

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You could say she is a good conversationalist. Merriam-Webster online defines this as

a person who likes or is good at conversation

So on the one hand it can refer to somebody who enjoys talking, but on the other hand it has the positive connotation of somebody who possesses the skill to hold forth on a variety of topics (particularly polite or refined conversation) - something you might attribute to a diplomat or courtier, for example. That"s the kind of usage of the term here:

Good small talk makes us likable, but it"s easy to get rusty — how to avoid dominating and being dominated in a conversation – subtitle of piece by Elizabeth Bernstein, "How to Be a Better Conversationalist", Wall Street Journal (12 August 2014)

A later section in the piece is quite relevant for you too:

There is an art to elegantly starting, sustaining and ending a dialogue with strangers or friends. Experts call it conversational intelligence. Others call it the gift of gab. Hard as it may be for chatty people to believe, not everyone is born with it. For many, it takes study and practice.

"Conversationally intelligent" is more about skill in the art of conversation than enjoyment thereof, but might still be useful for your purposes. "Gift of (the) gab" would work very well for you. (In British the "the" is conventional.)

the gift of the gab (British, American & Australian) also the gift of gab (American): an ability to speak easily and confidently and to persuade people to do what you want. An Irishman, he had the gift of the gab. You might hate what he said but you had to listen. — The Free Dictionary