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The 40 Funniest Words in the English Language—And How to Use Them

These fanty-sheeny words will bumfuzzle all your friends!

The English language is pretty wild. And by that, we mean that it contains some wacky words that seem too weird to be real, yet absolutely are. So if you appreciate a varied vocabulary and would like to embrace a wider range of words, then you're in luck! We can help you bumfuzzle your friends with the funniest words that are undeniably fanty-sheeny and will leave you in a finifugal mood. If you don't believe us—or have any clue what that means—then take a peek below to learn about the funniest words in the English language and how to use them.

1. Brouhaha

If you tweet something divisive the generates a lot of conversation, you might say that you started a bit of a brouhaha. That's a way better word for it than "commotion" or "uproar."

Example: "Her speech started a brouhaha on all the 24-hour news channels."

2. Pettifogger

You've seen them in movies and on local commercials: lawyers who are willing to do anything to score a client or get a win. In other words, pettifoggers.

Example: "The prosecution's pettifogger called some pretty shady witnesses."

3. Sozzled

Hammered. Wrecked. Drunk. Forget all those boring words for being intoxicated—"sozzled" makes it sound almost sophisticated.

Example: "Don't let him order another drink, he's already sozzled."

4. Wassail

If you enjoy warmed, spiced wine, you can get sozzled on wassail.


5. Inkle

Okay, so maybe this one only comes up in conversation if you're a weaver, but it's still a funny word. According to Merriam-Webster, an inkle is "a colored linen tape or braid woven on a very narrow loom and used for trimming."

Example: "My inkle won't stay in place!"

6. Mollycoddle

Have a lot of siblings? Your parents probably mollycoddle the youngest, meaning that they baby and indulge them, no matter what they do.

Example: "Stop mollycoddling her, she's a grown woman!"

7. Skirl

If you travel to Scotland (or go to a Scottish pride event), you'll almost certainly hear someone skirl, i.e. play the bagpipes.

Example: "Let's get closer, the bagpipers are about to start skirling."

8. Hoosegow

A wild night out could land you in the hoosegow for breaking the law. It's just a funny word for jail!

Example: "Come on, we've gotta bail him out of the hoosegow."

Close up on key locking jail cell

9. Rigmarole

Try to do anything with a government agency and it'll be a lot of rigmarole. That can either mean a lot of circular discussion or just a generally tedious ordeal.

Example: "Let's get the rigmarole of the paperwork taken care of."

10. Impignorate

Despite the reputation of the animal within this word, impignorate actually means to pawn off or mortgage something in your possession.

Example: "I'm going to impignorate this watch for some extra cash."

11. Bumfuzzle

We all find ourselves confused and flustered from time to time, perhaps even to the point where we might describe ourselves as perplexed. But if those words don't quite capture your bewildered state of mind, then you may want to use the term bumfuzzle.

Example: "That movie was bumfuzzling and left me, well, bumfuzzled."

12. Winklepicker

While a winklepicker sounds like it should refer to someone who picks winkles (whatever those might be), a winklepicker is, in fact, a shoe or boot that features a sharp-pointed toe.

Example: "I've been looking for the perfect winklepicker to go with these pants."

13. Hullaballoo

A perfect example of a word that sounds like its meaning, hullaballoo refers to a ruckus or uproar that's on the unpleasant side.

Example: "The hullaballoo was totally wild."

14. Argle-bargle

Blah, blah, blah, some people like to drone on for as long as others are willing to listen and there are those particular kinds of mind-numbing conversations that never seem to end. Meaningless arguments and worthless chatter—whether done by talking or writing—is called argle-bargle.

Example: "This is just a bunch of pointless argle-bargle."

15. Doodlesack

Scottish musicians are well-known for their skill with the bagpipes, but they're not as famous for their talents with the doodlesack. And that's kind of funny considering this funniest word is just another word for bagpipes.

Example: "What songs do you like to play on a doodlesack?"

Scottish bagpiper

16. Gobbledygook

Slang is one thing, but people who indulge in gobbledygook are a lot like turkeys who also gobble, gobble, gobble, or use language that is basically incomprehensible.

Example: "He sure likes to go on and on with the gobbledygook."

17. Eeksie-peeksie

If you like everything in your world to be perfectly balanced or appreciate even numbers and identical amounts, then you like things to be eeksie-peeksie, which is a term for equal.

Example: "I think it should be eeksie-peeksie for each of us."

18. Nudiustertian

No one would blame you for thinking that nudiusterian had something to do with being naked, perhaps representing a cheeky lifestyle that rejects clothes. But the word has nothing to do with showing off your body. Instead, it refers to the day before yesterday.

Example: "I went to work on that nudiustertian morning.

19. Gardyloo

Although we no longer toss garbage out of the windows the way people did years ago, it's still helpful to know that if you hear someone shout "gardyloo" then you better watch out for flying trash, since that's the appropriate warning to use.

Example: "Gardyloo and watch out!"

20. Tittynope

This is another word that might make you blush until you find out its perfectly innocent meaning. Tittynope is what you call a small amount of something that's simply leftover.

Example: "There's a tittynope of sugar in the bowl."

21. Lackadaisical

If you know someone who's rather lazy and fails to show any sort of enthusiasm or ambition, then they're lackadaisical. It's probably one of the funniest words because of all those syllables.

Example: "My coworker never gets his work done because he's lackadaisical."

22. Snickersnee

Snickersnee is certainly a funny word, but the item behind its meaning is no joke. The term refers to a large (and obviously super sharp) knife.

Example: "That's not a snickersnee. This is a snickersnee."

23. Flibbertigibbet

Some people are unreliable and don't seem to be bothered by their own silly vibe. And while we generally accept that they're the flighty ones among us, you could also call that certain someone a flibbertigibbet.

Example: "My flibbertigibbet friend failed to show up again."

24. Fanty-sheeny

If you like the finer things in life—and to show them off—then you appreciate anything that's fanty-sheeny, which is a word that can be used for someone or something that's fancy or even ostentatious.

Example: "Her house was filled with fanty-sheeny furniture."

25. Cattywampus

If something is askew, awry, or lined up in a way that's not totally straight, such as diagonally—basically, slightly off-center or not quite right—then it's not just annoying, you could say it's cattywampus.

Example: "The books on the desk are all cattywampus."

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26. Woebegone

If you know that "woe" is a word for sadness, then it might seem like woebegone is a term for wanting sadness to go away. But since "begone" is actually an old word for being within something, it turns out that woebegone is actually one of the funniest words for being in a sad state.

Example: "He was left woebegone, but hopeful."

27. Taradiddle

It may seem like pretentious nonsense to use as silly of a word as taradiddle to describe, well, pretentious nonsense, but it would certainly suitable since that's exactly what taradiddle means.

Example: "His stories are more taradiddle than truth."

28. Maltipoo

The next time you're thinking about getting a new pet, perhaps you'll consider a Maltipoo, which is a cross-breed originating from a Maltese terrier and a miniature or toy poodle. Otherwise, you could also consider a Puggle (a pug and beagle mix) or a Dorgi (a dachshund and corgi cross).

Example: "I just adopted the cutest Maltipoo puppy."

29. Wabbit

Cartoon character Elmer Fudd was famous for calling Bugs Bunny a "wascally wabbit," which we assumed was because of his particular way of speaking. But perhaps he was actually using the word wabbit, which means weary or exhausted.

Example: "You wabbit rabbit."

30. Borborygmus

When your insides make a little noise, you can accurately call that borborygmus. That's the word for the noisy rumbling and gurgling that comes from your midsection. It's caused by fluids or gas moving in your intestines.

Example: "Can you hear my belly borborygmus?"

Young woman holding stomach

31. Funambulism

If you're looking for a new pastime and prefer extreme endeavors, you could take up skydiving or white water rafting. But you might want to try funambulism instead, which is another way to say tightrope walking.

Example: "I always thought funambulism looked fun—but I'm afraid of heights, so no thanks."

32. Widdershins

Counterclockwise is rather fun to say, but take things up a notch wonky word-wise when referring to which way you're heading by saying that your walking widdershins, which is another word for counterclockwise.

Example: "I took a path widdershins through the forest."

33. Collywobbles

If you're experiencing stomach pain or queasiness, whether it's due to illness or anxiety, then you're feeling collywobbles, a term for that icky feeling.

Example: "I have some collywobbles happening in my tummy."

34. Quomodocunquizing

While the word looks rather complicated, it's meaning is simple. Quomodocunquizing is a way to describe something (or someone) who makes money in any way possible.

Example: "He's a quomodocunquizing businessperson."

35. Diphthong

When you combine two vowel sounds together in one word to create something a little different, then you're using a diphthong.

Example: "The sound 'oy' in boy or toy is a diphthong. So is the 'ou' in you or loud."

36. Bloviate

If you were given the task of coming up with a word to describe a person who likes to ramble on, then you might opt for something like bloviate, which is the perfect term for your local windbag.

Example: "That guy couldn't resist bloviating at the party."

37. Gubbins

While gibbons are the adorable primates that spend their days swinging through the rain forest, gubbins is something totally different. Instead of being cute creatures, they're miscellaneous bits and pieces or gadgets.

Example: "The drawer is filled with random gubbins."

38. Blatherskite

There are plenty of terms for people who like to use words to their full extent (or perhaps even overuse language), which is why we also have blatherskite to describe the kind of person who can't self-edit and cares more about making noise than making sense.

Example: "My ex is a boring blatherskite."

39. Snollygoster

Any time you cross paths with someone who's a snollygoster, then it's time to head in the other direction. Although they may be a person who's shrewd, they're also more likely to be the villain than the hero, which means you'll want to be wary.

Example: "My nemesis is a snollygoster."

40. Finifugal

Finifugal is not only a fear of finishing things, it's also the term you can put into use any time you get the desire to prolong a final moment or prevent a seemingly inevitable ending.

Example: "I have a finifugal vibe towards this funniest words article I'm reading on Best Life.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more
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