The Craziest Words in English

The English language is, quite possibly, one of the strangest languages out there.

Let’s see which of these craziest words you already know and which ones are new to you.

1. Bumfuzzle

To bumfuzzle is to confuse or fluster.

Bumfuzzle is most often used in the dialect of the Southern United States. It is colloquial, meaning it is typically used in informal conversation. It is very similar to bamboozle and may be derived from it.

2. Cattywampus

Askew, awry, kitty-corner.

Cattywampus is a variant of catawampus, another example of grand 19th century American slang. In addition to “askew” catawampus may refer to “an imaginary fierce wild animal,” or may mean “savage, destructive.”

3. Gardyloo

A warning cry given before throwing dirty water from a window.

Those living on the top floor of tenements would dispose of their urine by emptying the container into the street out of an open window, shouting ‘Gardyloo!’

4. Taradiddle

This word references someone or something that is filled with pretentious nonsense or something that is a lie. A great example of this is that classic fisherman’s tale of how big the fish he caught was. Usually the fisherman is lying or at least exaggerating about the fish, especially if he (or she) didn’t keep the fish.

5. Snickersnee

A knife, especially one used as a weapon.

While this word sounds like something funny or possibly cute, it is actually referring to a long, dangerous knife. It was first used in reference to cut-and-thrust fighting in the 1700s and is still occasionally used when referencing the knife, though it is becoming more and more obsolete.

6. Widdershins

The wrong way.

This is another way to say something is moving counter-clockwise or something is moving in the wrong direction.

7. Collywobbles

Severe gastroenteritis of unknown etiology; characterized by severe colic and vomiting and diarrhea

8. Gubbins

– An object of little or no value
– A small device or gadget
– Odds and ends
– Litter or rubbish
– A silly person

This is an object that has little or no value and is also referring to a gadget or device. It can also refer to odds and ends or rubbish and, oddly enough, can be used to describe a silly person.

9. Abibliophobia

This is a word that perfectly describes many people and you may be one! This refers to someone who is afraid of running out of things to read. We’re guessing that you are probably going to start using this word to describe yourself as you head out the door to the nearest Barnes and Noble or local bookshop.

10. Bumbershoot

Here is a fun word that most people know. This is referring to an umbrella and is something we have heard in many a Disney film or in many different books.

11. Lollygag

To lollygag is to be slow or idle or lazy. You might say to your dawdling friends, “Don’t lollygag!

12. Flibbertigibbet

This is another fun word! This refers to someone who is silly and who talks incessantly. The first known usage of this word is the 15th century and used to be spelled flepergebet. This word also refers to a person who is flighty.

13. Malarkey

empty rhetoric or insincere or exaggerated talk

This refers to words that are insincere and talk that is particularly foolish.

14. Pandiculation

yawning and stretching (as when first waking up)
As you stretch, your muscles might go rigid for a short time, which can sometimes be uncomfortable. It also describes that wonderful, or terrible, a combination of being extremely sleepy, stretching, and yawning at the same time.

15. Sialoquent

Do you remember being the eager student in high school or college who sat on the front row? Do you remember how much the professor spit while talking? Well, this is what that action is called. This is such an eloquent word for such an uncomfortable front-row sensation.

16. Wabbit

No, this isn’t referring to a rascally wabbit. It is a Scottish term for being exhausted. Next time you’re tired, try saying, “I’m pretty wabbit at the moment” and see just how many people look at you strangely.

17. Snollygoster

This is something many people already call many politicians, but it happens to be a nicer-sounding term. This refers to a politician who does or says things for their own personal advancement instead of following their own principles. Try saying this in your next political discussion and see people’s reactions.

18. Erinaceous

This is a strange one; it refers to something or someone who resembles a hedgehog. If someone ever says that you are looking quite erinaceous today, you know now to give them a penetrating, evil glare.

19. Bibble

Do you know those people in your favorite restaurant who drink and/or eat noisily? What they are doing is referred to as bibble.

20. Impignorate

How about using this word when you want to say that you’re pawning something? It is a much fancier term and quite a fun one at that. This phrase doesn’t only mean to pawn but also to mortgage something.

21. Nudiustertian

Have you ever wished that you had a word for the day before yesterday? This is that word! It might be a little bit more convoluted to say, but it sure is an interesting-sounding word. This word is sure to confuse, and eventually astound, people. Now that you know this word, try teaching it to your friends!

22. Quire

tablet of paper

You can always say “two dozen sheets of paper” or you can say “quire.” It means the same thing! Interesting, huh? There are quite a few single words for many phrases.

23. Ratoon

Don’t worry, this isn’t referring to a raccoon and rat mix breed or a rodent of unusual size, it is, in fact, referring to that small shoot or growth that comes from the root of a plant. You will see a lot of these in the spring and summer as things are growing.

24. Yarborough

This refers to when you are playing a game of cards and the dealer deals a hand without any numbers above nine. This can really be unfortunate or great, depending on which game you are playing.

25. Xertz

You’re outside in the summer heat moving heavy furniture or other items, making you super thirsty. As soon as you’re able, you grab a tall glass of water, lemonade, or iced tea and gulp it down quickly and/or greedily, helping to quench your thirst and cool yourself down. When you do this, it is called xertz. This also refers to eating food quickly and/or greedily.

26. Zoanthropy

This is an interesting term! It refers to a person who has delusions that they are a form of animal or that they have changed into an animal.

27. Pauciloquent

If you are a person of few words, then this is the term for you. It refers to someone who doesn’t say much or who, when giving a speech, gives a very short one. This is a great way for you to tell people you are a person of few words, without having to say that whole long statement.

28. Bloviate

Yell, rave

This is the opposite of pauciloquent and refers to people who talk for a long period of time or who inflate their story to make themselves sound better. This also refers to someone whose words are empty and have no meaning.

29. Borborygm

You know that rumbling you sometimes get in your stomach? Well, this is one term for that sensation! It might be a little bit more difficult to say than saying, “I’m hungry,” though.

30. Brouhaha

Loud confused noise from many sources

This is a word we are sure many people have heard and it is still used a lot today. This refers to an uproar or big event. We guess you could say the latest sports team to win at something sure did cause a brouhaha!

31. Absquatulate

Run away; usually includes taking something or somebody along

This refers to yourself or someone else leaving suddenly. It can also mean that someone has absconded with something, as well. It is more a form of slang, but it isn’t something you hear every day!

32. Comeuppance

An outcome (good or bad) that is well deserved and fitting

This is definitely a word you probably heard your grandparents use at some point and it is used in many films set in the 1920s to the 1950s or 60s. This is a fun word and it should be used more than it is. It means that someone will get what they deserve or will “get their just deserts.”

33. Donnybrook

A brawl or fracas; a scene of chaos.

This is a fun little word for an uprising, a melee, or a riot. It can also refer to an argument. If you search Google for this particular term, you will not only find the definition but also learn that it is a place called Donnybrook, which is part of Dublin, Ireland. Very interesting!

34. Nincompoop


This is another word that we are sure you have heard at some point and you probably know the definition. This refers to someone who is silly, foolish, or just downright stupid. It was used regularly in the 1950s and 60s but is still quite a fun word to say!

Many of these words are still in use but are used in different parts all across America. We have different terms and phrases for different things and it is pretty awesome to learn more about our language.


What is the craziest word in English?


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