40 Funny-Sounding Words in English


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blubber (n.) and (v.)

As a noun, blubber refers to the thick layer of fat on whales and other marine animals – although some people also use it to refer to human body fat (especially if the person has a lot of fat!) As a verb, blubber means to cry noisily: “My five-year-old son was blubbering for hours after I took away his video game.”

debauchery (n.)

Extreme sensual pleasure (usually involving sex and/or alcohol) – “That film is full of debauchery; it’s definitely not appropriate for children.”

discombobulated (adj.)

Very confused and disorganized – “I was so discombobulated this morning that I put my car keys in the refrigerator!”

dollop (n.)

A quantity of a liquid or soft substance – “The apple pie was served with a dollop of ice cream on top.”

English Words - Dollop

Image source: Dwight Burdette

doodle (n.) and (v.)

To draw informally, casually – especially when you’re preoccupied with something else. – “I doodled in the margins of my notebook while the teacher was talking.”

doozy (n.)

Something extraordinary (usually in a good way, but could be in a bad way as well):

  • The whole season was great, but the last episode was a doozy.
    (a really amazing/memorable episode)
  • The truth has finally come out about the political scandal – and it’s a doozy.
    (something really shocking)

dumbfounded (adj.) / flabbergasted (adj.)

Astonished (very surprised) to the point that it’s difficult to speak. – “I was flabbergasted when I heard that John and Debbie were going to get divorced – they had seemed like such a happy couple!”

feeble (adj.)

Weak; not strong. Can be used for physical or non-physical weakness. – “He made a feeble attempt to defend himself, but everyone knew he was guilty.”

festooned (adj.)

Decorated. – “The banquet hall was festooned with chains of red and white flowers.”

finagle (v.)

To get something by indirect (and maybe tricky) methods. – “Eric finagled an extra day off from work by telling his boss it was an religious holiday – even though he’s not religious at all!”

finicky (adj.)

Describes a person who is very particular and specific in what they want, and doesn’t accept things that aren’t exactly the way they want. – “My daughter is a finicky eater. She won’t eat her dinner if two of the foods on the plate are touching each other.”

flummoxed / befuddled (adj.)

Completely confused. – “The police were befuddled by the complete lack of evidence at the crime scene.”

fuddy-duddy (n.)

A negative word for an old-fashioned person who does not accept modern trends. – “Maybe it makes me a fuddy-duddy, but I really don’t think mini-skirts are acceptable for job interviews.”

gargoyle (n.)

A statue of an animal or imaginary creature, often used in architecture to send rainwater away from the walls of the building.

English Words - Gargoyle

giggle (v.)

To laugh with high-pitched, short sounds – like a little girl.

gobbledygook / gibberish (n.)

Words that don’t make any sense and you can’t understand them. “My one-year-old nephew can say a few words, but most of what comes out of his mouth is gibberish.”

goggles (n.)

A type of thick protective glasses, to protect your eyes from danger. You can use goggles for swimming. Scientists also use goggles in the laboratory.

English Words - Goggles

Image source: Clemente

haphazard (adj.)

Dependent on chance, not well-organized or planned. “You’ll never be rich if you keep spending your money haphazardly.”

hodgepodge (n.)

A mix of random items of various types.  – “This drawer contains a hodgepodge of office supplies – staples, clips, post-it notes, pencils, etc.”

hogwash (n.)

A negative term for describing facts, information, or beliefs that are ridiculous or false. – “Some people believe it’s unlucky to break a mirror, but I think that’s a bunch of hogwash.

hoodwink (v.)

To deceive. – “The entrepreneurs hoodwinked investors by presenting the company as being more profitable than it actually was.”

hubbub / hullabaloo / ruckus (n.)

Loud noise from a confusion or agitated event. – “I looked out the window to find out the cause of the ruckus, and saw a bunch of teenagers having a party across the street.”

itty-bitty (adj.)

Informal word for “very small” – often used when talking with children. – “Look at the itty-bitty ladybug!”

pompous (adj.)

Arrogant. – “My last boss was a pompous jerk who thought he was superior to everyone else.”

rambunctious (adj.)

Describes a person (or animal) with a lot of energy, who tends to cause problems or make messes. – “I don’t know how Linda stays sane with five rambunctious kids under the age of ten.”

ramshackle (adj.)

Badly constructed, so that it is likely to fall apart. – “We crossed the river on a ramshackle bridge.”

shenanigans (n.)

Mischief, tricks, or problematic activities. – “George’s shenanigans got him into trouble at school.”

shrubs / shrubbery (n.)

Bushes – plants that grow thick vegetation and are close to the ground. – “The walkway to our house is lined with shrubbery.

English Words - Shrubbery

Image source: Becks

skedaddle (v.)

An informal word for leaving or running away. – “The neighborhood boys skedaddled after breaking a window with a baseball.”

squabble (n.) and (v.)

An argument or fight, usually over something small. – “The company’s president and vice-president are squabbling over the color of the business’ new logo.”

squeegee (n.)

A T-shaped tool used to remove water from windows and floors:

English Words - Squeegee

squelch (v.)

To suppress or inhibit: “This new medicine can squelch anxiety and boost your confidence.”

wishy-washy (adj.)

Describes a person who is weak in their decisions or character. – “My ex-boyfriend was so wishy-washy, he couldn’t even choose what movie to watch on a Friday night.”

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