105 Funny Words That Sound Ridiculous but Are Totally Real
Do you think you have a good vocabulary? We can guarantee you've probably never heard some of these funny words before.
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Funny words you’ve never heard
Are you one of those people who still giggle when someone says “duty”? Wait until you read these far less common funny words. They are completely real and just as hilarious as these short jokes or the funniest one-liners! Of course, the way people put words together can be pretty funny too—just take the funniest quotes of all time. And to impress everyone you know with your new vocabulary, also brush up on your grammar knowledge with these acronym examples and funny malapropisms.
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Many weird words seem fake at first. Do you know what this one means? Here’s a hint: This funny word itself might be thought of as taradiddle! That’s because the definition is “bogus, nonsense or a lie.”
This will also give you a hint in our quiz about whether these funny words are real or made up.
No, it’s not misspelled. It sounds wrong, but—trust us—it’s right! It’s an adverb form of friendly, meaning in a friendly way. For example: “He friendlily questioned my use of the word friendlily.”
We know these funny words might sound made up, but they’re not—unlike these fake words that actually made it into the dictionary.
Looking to find this word on an Italian dinner menu topped with cheese? You won’t. Think you can guess what it means? It actually refers to when someone mixes two different languages together.
Here are some fancy words that will make you sound smarter.
This sounds like it could be a brand that sells fancy dog toys, but it’s definitely not something you should put on the shopping list for your new puppy. Before you take a trip to PetSmart, a dongle is actually a piece of hardware that connects a computer to another device. You may use a dongle on a regular basis to connect to a digital media player to stream shows or to use Bluetooth and WiFi.
Like these funny words, palindrome examples can also give you a linguistic laugh!
Wham! Bam! Pronk? Pronk sounds like it fits with these onomatopoeia examples, but it doesn’t. A pronk is a weak or foolish individual. It is also used as a verb when referring to antelope and similar animals, when it means to leap with an arched back and stiff legs as a form of display or a sign it is threatened.
Nope, it’s not a creepy Furby knockoff! Fubsy means squat or portly.
Word nerds, can you spell these tricky (nay, impossible!) words that won the National Spelling Bee?
Absquatulate doesn’t mean doing squats in an attempt to improve your abs! It means to flee or abruptly leave, or more specifically (and old-fashioned-ly), to decamp.
These grammar jokes will make you laugh just like these silly words.
Not the grizzly, terrifying kind! This word has nothing to do with animals. Abear means to endure or put up with, which means you could feasibly say “I abeared this encounter with a bear!”
Here are more words that don’t mean what you think they mean.
Let’s make one thing clear: Cabotage does not mean to sabotage a taxi driver! So what’s the real definition? It means the transport of goods and passengers between two places in the same country, or the right to do so. Originally, it only referred to coastal travel between ports, but the definition has expanded to include travel by air, railway and road.
Wordsmiths will surely relate to these grammar memes!
Batholith might sound like a less intimidating relative of Harry Potter’s basilisk monster, but it’s actually a geological term. It describes a large quantity of igneous rock that’s crystallized below the earth’s surface.
These are some of the most confusing grammar rules in English.
This may be an old, all-but-extinct word, but it is real. In Old English, “to take yeme” meant to care, so someone who was “yemeles” was totally reckless or careless.
Nope, firkin is not a dirty word, nor is it a catlike creature that can swallow things 10 times its size, like “flerken” of Marvel Comics. It’s a British word that refers to a small tub or vessel and definitely qualifies as one of the international words that sound rude in English.
Funny words mean funny things, and this word does not refer to the fountain of youth. It actually means someone who never laughs, and you definitely don’t want to be that person. But don’t worry, these funny songs will make even the worst agelast crack a smile.
Hark! This term dost indicate an archaic or elaborate sort of speech. Godwottery is an outdated term, and today people may also describe it as “purple prose.” It’s a great name for fun words to say that aren’t in common use anymore.
Fartlek sounds like it should be on a list of funny insults. But it’s actually a type of endurance training in which a runner switches between sprinting and jogging.
This word, which means “choppy seas,” seems onomatopoetic. We can imagine waves breaking on the shore, making the noise “popple popple popple.”
This funny word means “all the time” or “always,” but it reads like one of these funny typos.
Knurly describes something with small protuberances, such as knobs or tumors.
You may not have heard of a palaver, but you’ve surely engaged in one; it usually describes an unproductive conversation or long dispute between people from different worldviews or cultures.
Meanwhile, these words from early dictionaries no longer even exist.
A teazel is a prickly herb plant that looks a bit like a cattail. It has flower heads with sharp leaves and was once used in the textile industry to comb wool.
This funny word means to confuse, perplex or fluster, according to Merriam Webster. We sure would be flustered if someone used this word in conversation with us.
A buttress is a type of architectural structure that stabilizes a wall or building; it can be seen in many gothic-style churches, castles and cathedrals.
This funny word is a nickname for a resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Learn about more funny pieces of regional slang.
This weird word means “spam sent over instant message.” Take the -am out of spam and replace it with -IM for “Instant Message,” and you have spim—a wonderful example of a portmanteau word.
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This sounds like one of these funny, hard tongue twisters, and it would totally make a good tongue twister. But it refers to a person who steals books!
Depending on your age and use of technology, you might call this # symbol a pound sign or a hashtag—but its official name is octothorpe!
Check out this funny look at how confusing life would be without proper punctuation.
Spleenwort is one of those weird words that doesn’t sound anything like the thing it describes. Though it might sound like the name of an intestinal disease, it actually describes a kind of evergreen fern.
A hoecake is a Southern-style cornbread. This is one of those funny words that might sound like an insult, but a hoecake describes a very basic small cake made of cornmeal. Here are a whole lot of other words and phrases only Southern people use.
Like willy-nilly, this funny word means “characterized by irregular or unpredictable movements or style.” (Why does this meaning always get the silliest words?) These are the everyday words everyone misspells.
Granny dumping is used in the field of social work to describe the abandonment of an elderly person in a public place. It doesn’t sound so funny now, huh? (Did it ever?)
A foolscap refers to a cap with a bell (the kind usually worn by jesters). If you’re really into funny words, you might want to start using these hilarious made-up words.
This term that refers to the U.S. Department of State is one of the weird words U.S. officials use to refer to parts of the government. You may also hear government officials calling three-letter agencies like the FBI the “alphabet boys.”
Flummery describes a soft jelly or porridge made with flour or meal, but more commonly it’s used to describe an empty compliment. “I love how you’ll just wear anything!” or “You look so awake today!” are examples of flummery. Perhaps this word can come in handy to respond to backhanded compliments.
To draggle something is to make it wet and dirty by dragging it. If you’ve ever worn too-long pants in the rain, you’ve draggled. Be warned: These words make you immediately sound old.
This is one of those funny words that sounds like a dog name, but it actually means “embarrassingly or sickeningly cute.”
This actual bit of 1920s slang refers to a bout of drinking. Engage in brannigans responsibly.
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Perissology means being overly wordy—something you may be guilty of if you start using these funny words around friends!
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Nope, this isn’t some political or financial scandal—though those likely entail lots of billingsgate, because this word means “harsh language.” Whether or not your workplace has that kind of drama, you might enjoy these funny work quotes.
A makeweight describes something that’s thrown onto a scale to bring the weight on the scale to a certain value.
Never heard this word before? That’s no surprise, if you’re not a baker. A penuche is a sort of fudge made from brown sugar, buttercream and nuts.
These are the words that don’t mean what you think they do.
This is a fancy catch-all word for the abnormal motor functions you might perform in your sleep, such as sleep-walking, sleep-showering or sleep-blogging.
If you attend a memorial service, funeral or wake, you’ll encounter a lot of sobersides, or people with a serious or sad appearance. Sobersides can also be found outside such events, and they’re also commonly referred to as “deadpans.”
Here are other uncommon words we no longer use, but should.
A slumgullion is a cheap meat stew. It’s one of the English language’s weird words for food that doesn’t sound appetizing at all.
This word describes the shrill, wailing sound made by bagpipes. Next time you’re at a St. Patrick’s Day parade, this is one of the weird words you can use to impress your friends.
For more laughs, try these funny things to ask Siri.
This word means “to feel nausea,” and we think it’s perfect—like a combination of rumble and waddle, which is exactly what happens when we feel sick. This one is a far cry from some of the most beautiful words in the English language.
Wallah originates from South Asian dialects and typically refers to a person who does a certain job.
Unperson originates from George Orwell’s 1984, in which people are removed from history, photographs and documents in order to erase any proof that they existed. An unperson is someone who has been “erased” because of misbehavior. Or, as users of Gen Z slang would say, “canceled.”
Like wamble, this word is used to describe nausea and bellyaches. Next time you want to show off your repertoire of weird words, tell your boss you’ve got a case of the collywobbles and can’t come in tomorrow.
Any idea what stumblebum means? It’s one of our favorite funny words! If you are a klutz, halfwit or nincompoop, add another descriptor to your resume. A stumblebum is a clumsy or inept person. Because it sounds so silly, we think it would be a great addition to these funny poems.
A grommet is a sort of fabric fastener that materials can be laced through. If you look at the top of your shower curtain, those little metal circles your shower hooks lace through are called grommets.
Here are more words for things you didn’t know had names.
Potvalor is another term for liquid courage—this word describes the confidence that results from an alcoholic drink.
Smicker is like if ogle had an affectionate and innocent counterpart. To smicker means you are admiring a person, and it’s visible from your expression.
Callipygian means “having shapely buttocks,” and it was first used in 1831. It was truly ahead of its time! Today, “Hey girl, you’re quite callipygian” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue (nor should it).
Don’t miss these hilarious vintage slang words that’ll make you sound awesome.
This word is a medieval Scottish term for a “licensed beggar.” Yes, licensed!
Clapperclaw means “to claw with the nails.” Now you have a word to describe one of the weird things your cat does!
It’s hard to figure out if any of the letters in this word are silent letters. It’s pronounced “sih-zih-jee,” and it describes a celestial phenomenon in which three celestial bodies are lined up in an almost perfectly straight line. An example of this event would be a solar eclipse.
“Ah, you know. The whole rigamarole.” You’ve probably heard this word before but haven’t considered what it actually means. A rigamarole is a confused or meaningless conversation or a complex procedure.
These secret code words will also make you second-guess the conversations you’ve been overhearing.
Something that is airy-fairy lacks substance or purpose and is extremely impractical. This word is similar to hippy-dippy, but it puts an emphasis on the impracticality of the thing it is describing.
A barnburner is an event that’s extremely interesting or exciting. But if you’re someone who actually owns a barn, this might not sound too appealing.
For more ironic fun, read these funny last words.
An inkle is a colored linen tape or braid woven through a narrow loom. At first glance, you might think it describes an idea that’s smaller than an inkling.
Next, don’t miss these funny things to ask Alexa.
A peacenik might sound like the opposite of a beatnik, but the groups probably have some overlap. This word describes someone who participates in antiwar demonstrations.
A blunderbuss is a sort of firearm with a short barrel. This weapon was an early version of the shotgun.
A ragamuffin is a ragged and often disreputable person. A ragamuffin is also one of the cutest cat breeds.
A dottle is the remaining tobacco in the bowl of a pipe after it’s been used for smoking.
Ever wonder where the saying “close, but no cigar” comes from?
You don’t have to be fabulous to confabulate, which means “to talk informally, to chat.” But it would certainly make people want to confabulate with you!
If this makes you think of Game of Thrones, you’re not far off. Dragooned means “forced,” especially by violent measures.
While this word can also refer to the planet, nothing here is in retrograde. Mercurial means “subject to change.”
No, this isn’t the name of a Shakespeare character you’ve forgotten from high school. Like a womanizer, a lothario is a man whose chief interest is seducing women.
Your dog might be waggish, but not because Fido keeps wiggling his tail. Like impish, this word refers to a playful, humorous quality. Add this to your list of funny pet slang words.
This one has a better-known, equally silly-sounding synonym: nitpicker. Pettifoggers are known to “quibble over trifles” and may make for shrewd lawyers.
After making it through this list, vocabulary might just be your bailiwick: “the sphere in which one has superior knowledge or authority.”
A boondoggle is a wasteful or impractical project.
Now learn the words and phrases you’re probably using wrong.
It’s not a cough drop, but that’s on the right track. It’s a drop of mucus hanging from someone’s nose—ewww!
It sounds like a Dr. Seuss creation, but it’s actually a funny slang word for an umbrella.
This word describes the state of reclining while you eat. If you want to practice your accubation, you can try watching these great movies while you have dinner.
Abecedarian means someone learning the alphabet. If you love to spend time with little kids, you probably know a lot of abecedarians!
No, this isn’t a breed of cat. It means something is off-kilter or askew.
Next, these are the mistakes spell check won’t catch.
Additional reporting by Dani Walpole.