Friday, April 16, 2010

Funniest Words in English

[Well, they sound funny anyway.. Updated: April 16th, 2010]

  • Hodge-podge - don't know what a hodge or a podge is, independently, so together I'm thinking it's a "bunch of stuff that we don't know how to name" [note: see the addition of 'Hotchpotch' at the bottom of this article]
  • Ramshackle - I know what a ram is, and a shack, and a shackle; could this be a ram tied up to a shack, and likely not too happy at the situation?
  • Bunk - when I was a kid, you slept here at summer or religious indoctrination camp (ie, "church camp"); now its apparently what comes from the mouths of politicians, bankers, financial analysts, and televangelists
  • Enema - yer mom says "what kind of ice cream would you like", and you reply, "just give me any, ma!" That's what I thought growing up, until I got the real thing
  • Boondoggle - whatever it is, you know it's not good and you don't want to get involved
  • Donnybrook - throw two groups of drinkers together from different countries, this is what you get. you know one when you see one.
  • Hootenanny - I've known musicians in every era since the 60's, so I have a sign in my house that says "No Hootenannies", the word is more fun than the actual event
  • Doodle - everyone does it, not many will admit it, but its funny
  • Banana - fun to say even if you add more syllables. I like 5, then it rhymes with "Roseannadanna"
  • Pajamas - is this singular or plural, can you have one?
  • Armadillo - some type of military vehicle isn't it?
  • Folderol - sounds like something for drinking, as in "last night I was so ripped I folderol over the place"
  • Whippoorwill - what did poor Will do?
  • Loquacious - famous Latin philosopher, or maybe a character on Star Trek, "Spock, go get Loquacious, he knows intergalactic philosophy"
  • Testicle - led to testify, testimony, testament, as you swear you grab the family jewels when you do it (or as the Bible says in it's original TESTAMENT, "Abraham grabbed his thigh" - close enough!)
  • Ne'er-do-well - funniest expression ever for deadbeats, has to be Shakespeare
  • Roustabout - see "ne'er-do-well" cuz it's funnier
  • Oil - is an ancestral clue, pronounced with two or three syllables, as in "aw-eee-yull" down south, sometimes "awl", and pronounced "earl" on The Honeymooners, "oh-ill" elsewhere
  • Knickerbockers - and can you believe people would hear that and still wear em? "yep, I gotta get me some of them knickerbockers, see what those are all about"
  • Haberdashery - a place for fast food from the middle east?
  • Peccadillo - this could mean several things, one is a small armadillo
  • Swamp - usually said with two syllables, if you're from one, it's not so funny.
  • Impudent - from Lawrence of Arabia, "you, sir, are an impudent rascal." (it's funnier if the British use it)
  • Elbow - you have to pause between syllables, and when you think about it, where did this word come from? why are there no other bows on the body? the kneebow, the neckbow.
  • Pumpkin - this is a compound word made of two smaller words and funny that way too cuz it's one step past kissin cousins
  • Burly - yes sir, he was a burly man, not a girly girl or a wimpy boy
  • Gargoyle - wait, is this English? gargle came from the sound gargoyles make during rainstorms anyway [I looked it up, the origin is Middle English, and it's spelled the original way]
  • Oblivion - it's either an Irish valet or a Greek author, "O'blivion, let's go with the seersucker today, and fetch me that new volume of Oblivion as well"
  • Gerrymander - a small amphibian? some cricket position, as in "he's now starting gerrymander for Manchester"
  • Anonymous - most prolific writer in any language; rhymes with "Hieronymous"
  • Booger - funny no matter how you use it, applies to many as in "that ole booger!"
  • Petticoat - a small coat? and it goes... where? it's a coat for what exactly?
  • Copacetic - I think my granny used to prescribe this homeopathic remedy as a pharmicist in the 1920's before it was declared illegal
  • Weenie - we laugh at em, we make fun of em, and we eat em!
  • Pomegranate - let's see, what shall we call yon fruit? is perhaps related to granite?
  • Rutabaga - that street urchin was certainly a pest, have you ever seen a rutabaga?
  • Jellyfish - is it edible, on a sandwich with tartar and peanut butter? now that's just plain disgusting..
  • Daffodil - either a cartoon character or an Irish herb
  • Buttocks - from Gump Fiction, "I'm gonna get medieval on your buttocks!"
  • Sabbatical - this can't be good, I think it involves devil worship and naked dancing in groups

Added from comments

  • Kumquat - this is a word you don't say in mixed company, and all kids know it's a certain unmentionable body part
  • Discombobulated - I had to be gassed to have this done once

Additions [4.16.10]

  • Skullduggery - anything requiring skulls can't be good, no matter what duggery is

  • Hoosegow - from Mexican Spanish husgado, meaning 'judged', hence jailed, perhaps just after some skullduggery

  • Kowtow - we all do it, we just don't talk about it

  • Possum - they're not quite Pogo, more like tree rats with a name they deserve

  • Hotchpotch - is actually from Old French for "shake the pot", maybe while cooking up some possum stew

  • Gibberish - from the 11 c. Arab story of Geber, who wrote treatises on nonsense to avoid charges of dealing with the devil

  • Guffaw - when just a giggle and a chortle aren't quite enough

  • Crawdad - sound yummy don't they? I'd like to fry me up a skillet of them crawdads, with a little butter and pepper.. long as they don't 'stick in yer craw' (must be your 'gullet'!)

  • Cigar - we all know what it is but the origin is disputed, either (a) from Spanish cigarra for 'cicada', the insect, due to same shape, or (b) from Mayan word sigar for 'to smoke'; maybe in ancient Spain they smoked cicadas, like Granny on the Hillbillies smoked crawdad ["where's yer granny, Jethro?" - "She's at home smokin crawdads" - "We never tried that before!"]

  • Tomfoolery - anyone can do it, you don't have to be named Tom, but apparently someone named Tom must've been the first to have gotten caught at it; now it's the national pastime

[This will obviously be a work "always under construction", as this list will grow and grow - Will S.]


M Bell, MPA:HA said...

How about, snookums, bodacious, discombobulated, sucker, tongue. So many words are funny to me.

José Sinclair said...

Good ones.. I'm still laughing at "snookums". and bodacious is such a bodacious word! I'm not sure sucker and tongue should be back-to-back however. now I'm discombobulated. lol.
I knew a Russian woman who used "rendezvous" for "office meeting"!.. I like the way russians think!

askcherlock said...

I will be laughing about this all day! What about names of vegetables? Kumquat, for example, conjures up some questions.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

How about: honker, boobs, snicker, fiddle dee dee.

myonlyphoto said...

lol these are good ones. I have one for you, its the bird's name: killdeer. Anna :)

José Sinclair said...

I always wondered about those poor birds! how they got that name, not from reality I hope

Count Sneaky said...

A little colorful rural invective for your collection:
"Stump-jumpin',chitlin-suckin', melon-stompin', rum-soaked, shell-crackin', dog-beatin', weed-suckin', tripe-chewin', widow-cheatin', sod-bustin',sheep-stealin', turd-tossin', plant-pissin',sap-suckin',croaker-grabbin',cud-chewin' flea-flickin', tick-tuggin',shit-kickin', old sumabitch and the half-assed horse you rode in on!
And the more restrained reply:
"You, sir, are an old'ol bifurcated blunderbuss; a caterwauling, cantankerous ol' coot; a damned, demented, demogogue; an excrable excrescence; a frog-rumped fop; an ignomious ignoramus; a gimlet-eyed gopher; a knock-kneed knave; and a julip-jiggling, jackleg, jingoist!
You have, sir, polluted us with your
porcine preence! Begone!"
Great blog.

José Sinclair said...

Count Sneaky, that comment is a hodgepodge of glorious verbal cacophany.. I guffaw, chortle, and kowtow to your bodacious skills..

Unknown said...

My favorite word is snorkle.

here's some ideas from the Vestibule's song "Bulbous Bouffant", for you (sp on some might not be right):
galoshes, beluga, mukluks, gazebo, plethora, igloo, bamboozle, spatula, ploy, shindig, hullabaloo, foible

Freddy said...

"Supple", enough said

Unknown said...

I have another one for your collection:



Anonymous said...

There is an animal called a dik dik that's pretty funny

Unknown said...

How about major mismalfunction?

Unknown said...

Wow the words from just Louisiana alone is many lol don't get me started on how we spell our last names either lol but u missed a few like.....boudin.....pigglywiggly....mud bugs.....opposum..... and these last few are my personal favs..... doppelganger. ....conundrum. .... sleven.. ...whirlpool.....slurpy.....excrament.....semen...lamented lol ok that's more than a few sorry