The Funniest Words in English

alex atkins bookshelf wordsRobert Beard, better known as Dr. Goodword who runs the always fascinating and entertaining, pored over thousands of words in the English language to find the 100 funniest words in the English language. And by “funny” he probably doesn’t mean “ha ha, laugh out loud” funny, but rather the secondary meaning — unusual or curious. Although Beard published this unique word collection in a book titled The 100 Funniest Words in English he could have easily called it The 100 Most Unusual Words in English. The title notwithstanding, the book presents a delicious lexical smorgasbord to delight any word lover. Bon appétit.

abibliophobia: the fear of running out of reading material
absquatulate: to leave or abscond with something
allegator: some who alleges
anencephalous: lacking a brain
argle-bargle: a loud row or quarrel
batrachomyomachy: making a mountain out of a molehill
billingsgate: loud, raucous profanity
bloviate: to speak pompously or brag
blunderbuss: a gun with a flared muzzle or disorganized activity
borborygm: a rumbling of the stomach
boustrophedon: a back and forth pattern
bowyang: a strap that holds the pants legs in place
brouhaha: an uproar
bumbershoot: an umbrella
callipygian: having an attractive rear end or nice buns
canoodle: to hug and kiss
cantankerous: testy, grumpy
catercornered: diagonal(ly)
cockalorum: a small, haughty man
cockamamie: absurd, outlandish
codswallop: nonsense, balderdash
collop: a slice of meat or fold of flab
collywobbles: butterflies in the stomach
comeuppance: just reward, just deserts
crapulence: discomfort from eating or drinking too much
crudivore: an eater of raw food
discombobulate: to confuse
donnybrook: an melee, a riot
doozy: something really great
dudgeon: a bad mood, a huff
ecdysiast: an exotic dancer, a stripper
eructation: a burp, belch
fard: face-paint, makeup
fartlek: an athletic training regime
fatuous: unconsciously foolish
filibuster: refusal to give up the floor in a debate to prevent a vote
firkin: a quarter barrel or small cask
flibbertigibbet: nonsense, balderdash
flummox: to exasperate
folderol: nonsense
formication: the sense of ants crawling on your skin
fuddy-duddy: an old-fashioned, mild-mannered person
furbelow: a fringe or ruffle
furphy: a portable water-container
gaberlunzie: a wandering beggar
gardyloo!: a warning shouted before throwing water from above
gastromancy: telling fortune from the rumblings of the stomach
gazump: to buy something already promised to someone else
gobbledygook: nonsense, balderdash
gobemouche: a highly gullible person
godwottery: nonsense, balderdash
gongoozle: to stare at, kibitz
gonzo: far-out journalism
goombah: an older friend who protects you
hemidemisemiquaver: a musical timing of 1/64
hobbledehoy: an awkward or ill-mannered young boy
hocus-pocus: deceitful sleight of hand
hoosegow: a jail or prison
hootenanny: a country or folk music get-together
jackanapes: a rapscallion, hooligan
kerfuffle: nonsense, balderdash
klutz: an awkward, stupid person
la-di-da: an interjection indicating that something is pretentious
lagopodous: like a rabbit’s foot
lickety-split: as fast as possible
lickspittle: a servile person, a toady
logorrhea: loquaciousness, talkativeness
lollygag: to move slowly, fall behind
malarkey: nonsense, balderdash
maverick: a loner, someone outside the box
mollycoddle: to treat too leniently
mugwump: an independent politician who does not follow any party
mumpsimus: an outdated and unreasonable position on an issue
namby-pamby: weak, with no backbone
nincompoop: a foolish person
oocephalus: an egghead
ornery: mean, nasty, grumpy
pandiculation: a full body stretch
panjandrum: someone who thinks himself high and mighty
pettifogger: a person who tries to befuddle others with his speech
pratfall: a fall on one’s rear
quean: a disreputable woman
rambunctious: aggressive, hard to control
ranivorous: frog-eating
rigmarole: nonsense, unnecessary complexity
shenanigan: a prank, mischief
sialoquent: spitting while speaking
skedaddle: to hurry somewhere
skullduggery: no good, underhanded dealing
slangwhanger: a loud abusive speaker or obnoxious writer
smellfungus: a perpetual pessimist
snickersnee: a long knife
snollygoster: a person who can’t be trusted
snool: a servile person
tatterdemalion: a child in rags
troglodyte: someone or something that lives in a cave
turdiform: having the form of a lark
unremacadamized: having not been repaved with macadam
vomitory: an exit or outlet
wabbit: exhausted, tired, worn out
widdershins: in a contrary or counterclockwise direction
yahoo: a rube, a country bumpkin
@: the “at” sign

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2 responses to “The Funniest Words in English

  • Sophia Ismaa Writes

    Judging by the 1000+ books on my TBR shelf on goodreads, I maybe be suffering from abibliophobia.
    Also, fartlek should be transferred to the most beautiful words in the EOD.

    • Alexander Atkins

      Hi Sophia: Thanks for visiting Bookshelf and your support. Yes, many bibliophiles silently suffer from abibliophobia. Even worse, if you step into one of those wonderful old bookstores that is a maze of floor to ceiling shelves, filled with literary wonders you didn’t even know existed — you realize that list can grow dramatically. Fartlek is a fascinating word; certainly gets your attention… Cheers. Alex

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