Those Curious Funny Words

Words are powerful. When we write and talk we are constantly choosing and dismissing words. Very often, we love the sound of one specific word in a foreign language even though we can’t speak that language – we just love the word and can’t explain why. Sometimes I wish I could borrow words from other languages to fill a gap in my own. Needless to say, all ideas can be expressed in any language, but sometimes I just want to express a certain idea with just one word. An example of that is the German word Fernweh. It basically means longing for a place that’s not your home – like homesickness of a foreign place.

There are some English words that I simply adore, like awkward. I like the way it’s spelled and the way it sounds. I also love the word ‘serendipity’ because of its meaning and ‘defenestrate’ because it’s such a specific verb. On the same note, there are some curious words in English that I recently discovered and that don’t deserve to be forgotten in books.

Here you have my top ten*:

gallimaufry – a heterogeneous mixture
to transmogrify – to change or alter greatly and often with grotesque or humorous effect
tintinnabulation – the ringing or sounding of bells
hobbledehoy – an awkward, gawky adolescent
unclubbable – unsociable
moiety – one of two equal parts: half
termagant – an overbearing or nagging woman
to discombobulate – to upset, to confuse
sesquipedalian – having many syllables, i.e. long
to cachinnate – to laugh loudly or immoderately

Do you know any curious words you would like to share? In case you’re also a word lover, here is an article about curious words in many languages.

*all definitions taken from

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4 thoughts on “Those Curious Funny Words”

  1. I would like to add ‘pescetarian’. I hate it when people day “I’m a vegetarian, but I eat fish”. No, you are not a vegetarian, you are a pescetarian. How can people not even know the correct word to describe themselves?

  2. I pride myself on having a well developed vocabulary, yet I have never heard any of those words!! Haha!!

  3. I saw Benny the Irish Polyglot re-tweeted this. I thought he was too glam to hang out with us word-geeks nowadays.

  4. moiety – one of two equal parts: half

    sounds like coming from french words “moitié” which means half.

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