Words that Amuse Me

January 27, 2011

And make me snicker.

The English language has, depending on who you ask, anywhere from between 600,000 to 1,000,000 words. Which is not terribly surprising, if you think about the fact that Modern English is basically the result of a head-on collision between Anglo-Saxon Germanic languages, French, and Latin. Plus whatever other words it gleefully plundered borrowed along the way.

With such a long and varied history, and such an extensive word bank, it’s only natural that there are some words that are highly amusing. The following are all real words.  I have listed them in an incredibly scientific order (namely, the order in which I thought of them). And they all make me chuckle. Or at least smile appreciatively.

A List of Entertaining English Words

  • Chuckle
  • Cheese  
  • Quagmire
  • Googol (not the search engine, but a 1 followed by 100 zeroes)
  • Frump
  • Staid
  • Taciturn
  • Oblivion
  • Jiggle
  • Bowel
  • Incubus
  • Expedient
  • Zest
  • Zesty
  • Collywobbles
  • Totter
  • Curmudgeon
  • Cudgel
  • Flibbertigibbet
  • Flirtatious
  • Pie
  • Lob
  • Kleptomaniac
  • Smithereens
  • Whiz
  • Decorum
  • Quixotic
  • Rabble-rouser
  • Riff-raff
  • Gurgle
  • Giggle
  • Tamper
  • Antidisestablishmentarianism
  • Yew
  • Loopy
  • Dapper
  • Euouae (used in mediaeval music: a type of cadence)
  • Blast
  • Rapacious

…and there are many, many more. I wanted to include Kwyjibo, but I am doubtful as to its status as a real word.

I have not, however, listed one of my all-time favourite words. That word is NOM, particularly when it refers to the Nom-Monster.

Sensitive souls may wish to turn back here.



Still with me?


All right.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Well, that was a fun digression. So, what are your favourite words? Send ’em on in!





  1. This post is great! Like you, I like lop, dapper and riff raff.

    Others I like are hoopla (I like to add extra la’s like hooplalala), poignant, profound, shenanigans, young’uns, and my favorite of all: purtinear. Purtinear means pretty near, I think, as in “I purtinear busted a gut laughing over your nom nom cartoon.”

  2. Nom, nom, nom!

    Collywobbles is definitely designed to make me smile. Bodacious is good for a laugh. Formal monikers for body parts (especially genitalia) sound amusing to me ~ derriere, scrotum, scrotal sac, mammary glands, etc.

    OK, now I’m laughing so hard, I need to urinate. 😀

    Thanks, Arvik!

    • Ah, yes, another whole category of entertaining words, to which I shall add, simply, “bosom.”
      And boob. (Okay, okay, one more, although this is a bird, rather than a body part: “blue-footed booby.”

  3. Am I boorish if I say I like boobs? No, no, I mean the WORD boobs! Oh, and boorish is a kewl one.


    — david j.

  4. Love the list!

    I would have to add yurt and gazebo! Love both those words…especially when drawn out as ga-zzzzeeeeeeeeeeee-bo!

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