strange English words

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  • #601574
    Ken Zayn
    Member

    I know many of these are British but dont they sound great? Post your words also. (They must be in the dictionary).

    Flummoxed

    kerfuffle

    cantankerous

    balderdash

    gobbledygook

    blunderbuss

    nincompoop

    lacksadaisical

    mollycoddle

    rambunetious

    #843309
    yentingyenta
    Participant

    onomatopoeia

    #843310
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    How about words that are only common in the negative?

    Nonplussed

    Disheveled

    Ruthless (I got Eeees on this one once while playing Scrabble. We play a cutthroat game where challenge-losers forfeit a turn. One time, I played “ruth” which earned me a challenge. I figured that if you can be ruthless, you can have ruth. Sure enough, it was in the Scrabble Dictionary and she lost a turn.)

    The Wolf

    #843311
    moi aussi
    Member

    floccinaucinihilipilification

    #843312
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    For Wolf: unkempt (kempt is one of my favorite words :D).

    #843313
    ED IT OR
    Participant

    piffellation!

    #843314
    supergirl613
    Member

    supercalifragilisticexpealidoshes(Mary Poppins in case you had a hard time reading the word)

    #843315
    shuli
    Participant

    ninconpoop!! i remeber my bus driver calling me that!

    #843316
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

    #843317
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Antidisestablishmentarianism

    #843318
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    quiddity

    bdellium

    alfalfa

    gneiss

    jodhpurs

    ukulele

    yucca

    gigue

    Occident

    #843319
    sem graduate
    Member

    How about if everyone who posts these strange words educates the rest of us by supplying their definitions…

    #843320
    Ken Zayn
    Member

    wanderingchana your first word is awesome! No wonder its not in the dictionary – it would fill 3 pages!

    supergirl613 lol. That sounds quite attrocious! So you cant complain if I include

    “well I’ll be Jiggered”

    from Little Lord Sauntleroy

    #843321
    Shticky Guy
    Participant

    How about the hill in New Zealand called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauawotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu

    Or try these official words:

    hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian

    lamprophony

    finnimbrun

    floccinaucinihilipitification

    phenakism

    pulveratricious

    rastaquouere

    scopperloit

    tyrotoxism

    zaberism

    gambrinous

    gargalesthesia

    spiffing

    or this word for the day before yesterday: nudiustertian

    #843322
    Horrified
    Participant

    gobsmacked

    #843323
    Horrified
    Participant

    to ‘bodge’ it up with a bit of ‘bodge’

    geordie

    #843324
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile

    — otherwise known as Pepper Spray

    #843325
    skiaddict
    Member

    haha btw do you know how if you say a normal sounding word for like a minute straight it sounds totally mental? like lets say pumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpunmpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumkinpumpkinpumkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkinpumpkin ha ha it sounds like the weirdest word ever pumpkin for supper

    #843326
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Ken Zayn – when I was little, that word was supposed to have been the longest in the English language, and our spelling teacher gave us extra credit if we got it right on a test. I think we studied it harder than the rest!

    #843327
    BaalHabooze
    Participant

    skiaddict: LOL

    i just tried that at supper tonight – picklepicklepicklepicklepicklepicklepickle, ha ha ha ha, I got so many words that I have to try it with!! words like chimney, platypus, or even hiccup!

    #843328
    Ken Zayn
    Member

    Anthropomorphic

    onomatopoeia

    or who remembers jabberwocky

    #843329
    soliek
    Member

    “jabberwocky”

    is not a word. neither is brillig, slithy, toves, gyre, gimble, wabe, mimsy, etc…

    #843330
    BTGuy
    Participant

    oxymoron

    egalitarian

    pterodactyl

    grist

    umpteen

    enth

    moot

    #843331
    tzaddiq
    Member

    how’s this for stange English words

    winklepicker,

    spondulicks,

    Mungo,

    mulligrubs,

    and impignorate.

    #843332
    shmoolik 1
    Participant

    TOLERANCE haven’t heard that word in a long time

    #843333
    BTGuy
    Participant

    The correct spelling of a word I posted is “nth”, and not “enth”.

    Sorry…

    #843334
    ayshoshee
    Participant

    one of my favorites is brouhaha (not sure if i spelled it right)

    #843335
    ED IT OR
    Participant

    Yup you spelt it right

    #843336
    LuvMe
    Member

    hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – fear of long words, and NO i didn’t use a dictionary or copy and paste it! LOL

    #843337
    uneeq
    Member

    I’m veering off a bit, but how about some of the most interesting, grammatically valid sentences-

    Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.

    #843338
    BaalHabooze
    Participant

    uneeq

    Can you please explain those? I’d love to understand them

    #843339
    soliek
    Member

    you got that wrong.

    James, while John had had “had”, had had had “had;” “had had” had had a better effect on the teacher.

    the “while” should probably be changed to “whereas,” too.

    “while John had had had”

    is a subordinate clause. the primary idea being conveyed in that sentence is that john had had “had.” next, your sentence would be a run on without the semicolon (or perhaps an emdash would also be acceptable). You also failed to denote which instances of the word “had” were references to the use of the word and which were verbs.

    on to the buffalo sentence.

    Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    you got that wrong too.

    “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”

    is the correct sentence–minus a bit of punctuation. once again there is a subordinate clause which must be indicated by commas.

    Buffalo buffalo, Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    Buffalo (as in the city) buffalo (as in the animal), Buffalo (city) buffalo (animal) buffalo (bully), buffalo (bully) Buffalo (city) buffalo (animal).

    in other words:

    Those Buffalo buffalo, who, ironically enough, are themselves buffaloed by Buffalo buffalo, buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    now ordinarily i wouldnt nitpick as much, but i know that you got those sentences from wikipedia where the grammar is explained in great detail and you therefore should have known better.

    #843340
    BaalHabooze
    Participant

    never mind, just googled them. pretty neat, eh?

    #843341
    BTGuy
    Participant

    lol..

    You guys lost me at had…or was it “had”? And then again at Buffalo…or was it buffalo?

    #843342
    soliek
    Member

    there are three definitions of buffalo:

    1) the city: Buffalo, NY

    2) the animal (bison)

    3) to bully

    usage 1) the city is a proper noun and therefore must be capitalized; therefore when you see a capitalized “Buffalo” in the sentence assume it is the city.

    the next two are a bit more difficult to figure out without punctuation, as the punctuation gives the sentence tone and thus, context.

    on to had had and had.

    had had is an alternate form of had when referring to the verb in the past tense.

    hadpast participle, past tense of have (Verb)

    Verb:

    Possess, own, or hold

    as per that definition had had should be incorrect, but there are specific instances where each usage is proper. the statement that the teacher was more pleased with had had expresses a thought without context and is therefore misleading.

    had on its own is a verb which denotes previous possession.

    had had is a pluperfect which denotes both tense, in this case past, and perspective. in other words, whereas had refers to actual possession, where the possession is the focus of the discussion, had had refers instead to the time of possession, or a time frame of possession.

    example for had: i once had a dog named scruffy.

    example for had had: i had had a root canal before, but this one still seemed like pain beyond anything i had ever experiences.

    the focus of had’s use in a sentence is to tell you that the subject is in possession of something.

    the focus of had had in a sentence is to tell you that the subject experienced something, be it actual possession (as in i had had dogs before, but this one was particularly rowdy) or a description of a past event (as in the example with the root canal.)

    the pluperfect is not exclusive to had had and the second had can usually be replaced with something more specific.

    getting back to the example with the dog, “i had owned dogs before, but this one was particularly rowdy” would be a perfect use of the pluperfect (pun intended).

    another indication of when to use or how to recognize a pluperfect is the timeline of the sentence.

    “i had a dog.” tells a story about a man and a dog and then stops. it fixes on one specific point in time and moves no further.

    the pluperfect had had or had (insert participle here) refers back to a fixed point in time and then moves you forward.

    let’s examine the man who had owned dogs before. he is telling you that he had owned dogs before, or had had dogs before, however is or was surprised by the dog he acquired either sometime after his previous possession of dogs or the present. a sentence with a pluperfect has a timeline–a sentence with a simple verb does not.

    therefore, depending on the message you are trying to convey, you may choose had or had had; however, the terms are NOT interchangeable as implied by that sentence.

    #843343
    ha ha ha ha
    Member

    uneeq that sound like the tongue twister

    Q:how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?

    A: a wood chuck would chuck so much wood if a wood chuck would chuck wood!!

    #843344
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi soliek.

    You seemed to cover and explain the tense of words with quite a degree of expertise. Very impressive.

    So, if I were to say, “I had a tense lesson,” that would be an accurate statement.

    And if I were a writer paid by the word, it might suit me to say, “I had had a tense tense lesson.” that, too, would be valid.

    ; )

    #843345
    WIY
    Member

    hierarchical

    #843346
    uneeq
    Member

    Soliek: now ordinarily i wouldnt nitpick as much, but i know that you got those sentences from wikipedia where the grammar is explained in great detail and you therefore should have known better.

    I did know better. I was going for shock value, so naturally I didn’t put in the punctuation.

    #843347
    Shticky Guy
    Participant

    Yaberdaberdoo

    #843348
    soliek
    Member

    i teach english, btguy 😀

    and yes, that would technically be correct, albeit very confusing 😛 and tense-lesson wold probably be hyphenated in that case to avoid confusion…but tzarich iyun 😀

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