Sunday, November 25, 2012

Funny Words

In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift hypothesized that language originated because words were much lighter and easier to carry around than even miniature models of all the things that one would want to signify.

I would stretch Swift's hypothesis further by stating that (smaller) funny words (in a fixed language system) have more force due to their portability as well as due to the motion they exhibit.

Smaller words are more easily remembered; words that are both useful and frequently utilized travel easier through a language system. This behavior of words mirrors molecular and subatomic processes in that some words can be more easily displaced from one point of view to another.

Dr. Robert Beard, AKA Dr. Goodword on the website published The 100 Funniest Words in English. While over 90% of The Bad Spellers Coalition denounced the list on the grounds that the words were simply "too hard to speel," anyone with an interest in words and a farcical sense of humor might just muster their way through the list, adding a few zingers into their repertoire of word tricks.

"I feel that teaching linguistics at an introductory level for all those years put me in a position to talk about the intricacies of words on an authoritative but jovial level anyone can understand and enjoy." Dr. Beard.

For those with a penchant for language, reading Dr. Goodword's list of funny words feels like a Saturday morning spent reading the Funnies.

Imagine, if you will, that you've just poured yourself a bowl of Canoodles, that sugary blend of tubular-shaped (nanotubes), those fruity flavored Miniaturized bites with that deliciously intense artificial flavoring that tickles every molecule in your body, leaving your central and peripheral nervous system in an enhanced state of alert awareness. Yum!

It's a good thing you just ate a bowl of Canoodles, because if you attempt to read a list as long as the one that follows - especially through the uncomfortable glare of a computer screen - you are going to have to be alert enough to stay awake, then exhibit enough endurance to get through the task, set aside the required time to read online - which takes approximately 25% longer than reading from printed material - and finally, find the motivation within yourself to complete this task knowing perfectly well you have other, more important things to attend.

Given all you're about to invest in reading this post, I have taken the liberty of underlining the most commonly remembered words. According to surveys, these words are more easily remembered if they are (1) short; (2) easy to spell; (3) have been included in song lyrics; (4) have been used in a movie, television show, commercial, or popular YouTube video.

*Warning: The (above) Word Art 
contains easily remembered explicit language

Without further ado...(thanks Shakespeare)

  1. Abibliophobia - The fear of running out of reading material.
  2. Absquatulate - To leave or abscond with something.
  3. Allegator - Some who alleges.
  4. Anencephalous - Lacking a brain.
  5. Argle-bargle - A loud row or quarrel.
  6. Batrachomyomachy - Making a mountain out of a molehill.
  7. Billingsgate - Loud, raucous profanity.
  8. Bloviate - To speak pompously or brag.
  9. Blunderbuss - A gun with a flared muzzle or disorganized activity.
  10. Borborygm - A rumbling of the stomach.
  11. Boustrophedon - A back and forth pattern.
  12. Bowyang - A strap that holds the pants legs in place.
  13. Brouhaha - An uproar.
  14. Bumbershoot - An umbrella.
  15. Callipygian - Having an attractive rear end or nice buns.
  16. Canoodle - To hug and kiss. (The future name of carbon nanotube-shaped sugary breakfast cereal)
  17. Cantankerous - Testy, grumpy. (My grandma used this expression)
  18. Catercornered - Diagonal(ly).
  19. Cockalorum - A small, haughty man.
  20. Cockamamie - Absurd, outlandish. (I heard this on "Three's Company")
  21. Codswallop - Nonsense, balderdash.
  22. Collop - A slice of meat or fold of flab.
  23. Collywobbles - Butterflies in the stomach.
  24. Comeuppance - Just reward, just deserts.
  25. Crapulence - Discomfort from eating or drinking too much.
  26. Crudivore - An eater of raw food.
  27. Discombobulate - To confuse.
  28. Donnybrook - An melee, a riot.
  29. Doozy - Something really great. (Groundhog Day)
  30. Dudgeon - A bad mood, a huff.
  31. Ecdysiast - An exotic dancer, a stripper.
  32. Eructation - A burp, belch.
  33. Fard - Face-paint, makeup.
  34. Fartlek - An athletic training regime.
  35. Fatuous - Unconsciously foolish.
  36. Filibuster - Refusal to give up the floor in a debate to prevent a vote.
  37. Firkin - A quarter barrel or small cask.
  38. Flibbertigibbet - Nonsense, balderdash.
  39. Flummox - To exasperate.
  40. Folderol - Nonsense.
  41. Formication - The sense of ants crawling on your skin.
  42. Fuddy-duddy - An old-fashioned, mild-mannered person. (Steel Magnolias & The Brady Bunch)
  43. Furbelow - A fringe or ruffle.
  44. Furphy - A portable water-container.
  45. Gaberlunzie - A wandering beggar.
  46. Gardyloo! - A warning shouted before throwing water from above.
  47. Gastromancy - Telling fortune from the rumblings of the stomach.
  48. Gazump - To buy something already promised to someone else.
  49. Gobbledygook - Nonsense, balderdash.
  50. Gobemouche - A highly gullible person.
  51. Godwottery - Nonsense, balderdash.
  52. Gongoozle - To stare at, kibitz.
  53. Gonzo - Far-out journalism. (Muppets)
  54. Goombah - An older friend who protects you.
  55. Hemidemisemiquaver - A musical timing of 1/64.
  56. Hobbledehoy - An awkward or ill-mannered young boy.
  57. Hocus-pocus - Deceitful sleight of hand. (Hocus-Pocus, the movie)
  58. Hoosegow - A jail or prison.
  59. Hootenanny - A country or folk music get-together.
  60. Jackanapes - A rapscallion, hooligan.
  61. Kerfuffle - Nonsense, balderdash.
  62. Klutz - An awkward, stupid person. (Expression my mother used when talking about my lack of mobile agility)
  63. La-di-da - An interjection indicating that something is pretentious. (Annoying expression utilized by the male members of our family, roughly meaning: "Look at you! All grown-up.")
  64. Lagopodous - Like a rabbit's foot.
  65. Lickety-split - As fast as possible. (Favorite expression utilized amongst Elementary School teachers when they want you to "make it snappy" or hurry up)
  66. Lickspittle - A servile person, a toady.
  67. Logorrhea - Loquaciousness, talkativeness.
  68. Lollygag - To move slowly, fall behind. (Expression utilized by annoyed Elementary School teachers when you got sidetracked coming back from the office in an attempt to enjoy the sunshine before returning to that dreadful box they called "a classroom")
  69. Malarkey - Nonsense, balderdash. (The explanation you gave your Elementary School teacher as to what took so long returning from the office)
  70. Maverick - A loner, someone outside the box. (My Dad would say, Roy Huggins. People who live in Dallas, Texas, are probably thinking of basketball and Dr. Pepper Family Nights)
  71. Mollycoddle - To treat too leniently.
  72. Mugwump - An independent politician who does not follow any party.
  73. Mumpsimus - An outdated and unreasonable position on an issue.
  74. Namby-pamby - Weak, with no backbone.
  75. Nincompoop - A foolish person. (My first big bad word)
  76. Oocephalus - An egghead. (Thanks Dot Com Bubble)
  77. Ornery - Mean, nasty, grumpy. (An expression used by women senior citizens when referencing men senior citizens)
  78. Pandiculation - A full body stretch.
  79. Panjandrum - Someone who thinks himself high and mighty.
  80. Pettifogger - A person who tries to befuddle others with his speech.
  81. Pratfall - A fall on one's rear.
  82. Quean - A disreputable woman.
  83. Rambunctious - Aggressive, hard to control. ("My problem," according to Mr. Lyon, the Principal of my Elementary School)
  84. Ranivorous - Frog-eating
  85. Rigmarole - Nonsense, unnecessary complexity.
  86. Shenanigan - A prank, mischief. (What I swore I was not involved in when our class was accused of leaving their tents in the middle of the night at Science Camp)
  87. Sialoquent - Spitting while speaking.
  88. Skedaddle - To hurry somewhere.
  89. Skullduggery - No good, underhanded dealing.
  90. Slangwhanger - A loud abusive speaker or obnoxious writer.
  91. Smellfungus - A perpetual pessimist.
  92. Snickersnee - A long knife.
  93. Snollygoster - A person who can't be trusted.
  94. Snool - A servile person.
  95. Tatterdemalion - A child in rags.
  96. Troglodyte - Someone or something that lives in a cave.
  97. Turdiform - Having the form of a lark.
  98. Unremacadamized - Having not been repaved with macadam.
  99. Vomitory - An exit or outlet.
  100. Wabbit - Exhausted, tired, worn out. ("Rabbit" according to Barry Kripke)
  101. Widdershins - In a contrary or counterclockwise direction.
  102. Yahoo - A rube, a country bumpkin. (Something Einstein said while riding on the back of a comet!)

If you made it this far, you deserve a
Cheesburger & French Fries!

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