Hello Everyone. I am back once again with a new collection of words for your education and amusement. I have, once again, returned to letting my warped mind wander with a seventh (YES! I SAID SEVENTH!) list of funny sounding words which have legitimate definitions.
First, let me just address something briefly. I realize that many of my last few pieces have had less of a humorous angle and were more along the lines of me purging some emotion and reflecting what I was going through at that time in my life. Needless to say, I have been through a lot in the last six months. It would be dishonest to hide that from my readers. This is less an apology than an explanation. Such writing will crop up again from time to time. Sometimes, I wear my heart on my sleeveless shoulder. Other times, I like to bend my knees and lean forward because, that’s just how I roll.
For those who may be unfamiliar with these installments, I’ll take a moment to lay out the rules of making such a list. Those of you who ARE familiar can please just smile and nod knowingly. First, it must be a real word that can be found in the dictionary (I used several dictionary sources). Secondly, keeping in the spirit of my blog, it must be family friendly. Lastly, if you could imagine Tigger saying the word, it had a good chance of making the list. The list has exactly 18 words. There are two main reasons for this number. First, the original list had 18 words. Secondly, keeping such a specific number in mind makes the challenge more interesting to me. I’d give a third and fourth reason but I promised you there’d be only two. People from all over send me words to use (and I come up with a few on my own as well). Many of the words I receive comply with the above rules so please feel free to contact me with a word for future volumes. If it lines up with the rules and hasn’t been used before, there’s a good chance I will use it. With that in mind, here is the seventh list. How I have missed those bullets.
- antimetabole – Looking at this word (pronounced AN-tie-meh-TAH-bow-lee), it looks like a political label. “You gotta watch out for that guy, He’s antimetabole.” Actually, it’s a literary device where words or phrases are presented in reverse order in order to make a point. This device is used to great effect in everything from political speeches to commercial jingles. President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address said: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Actress Mae West once stated: “It’s not the men in my life. It’s the life in my men.” You have to hand it to Mae West. She had some mighty fine antimetabole.
- awry –This is a very commonly mispronounced word when someone reads it for the first time. Many look at the word and read AW-ree. The word is pronounced uh-RYE. It simply means that a given situation had a far different outcome than expected. For example: The villain appeared to be just moments away from collecting the ransom as he held the police commissioner’s daughter as a kidnapped hostage. Unfortunately, his plans went awry when the great superhero came crashing down through the skylight. Why the villain chose a building with skylights and how the superhero didn’t get cut to ribbons is another matter.
- bizarre – Pronounced buh-ZAHR, I simply just love the sound of this word. It’s hard to go wrong when the word has the letter z in it. It means that something is very unusual or outlandish in appearance or style. I like it even better when you can refer to Middle Eastern marketplace which is called a bazaar (What can I say? I love homophones). To further illustrate: While the villain took great effort to disguise himself with his very bizarre manner of dress. The superhero immediately noticed the very unique ring which the local newspaper mogul, William Christopher Jones, had previously boasted that he purchased at a bazaar in Morocco. That’s right, It was clear that King Bizarre (as the superhero had dubbed him) had been to the bazaar. Bizarre goes to the bazaar. I’m sorry. I know I’m milking the point very badly here. I just love the z words.
- croupier – Words with a French origin tend to imply an air of elegance. The word, pronounced KROO-puh-yay, refers to an attendant in a gambling casino working at a gaming table. The croupier enforces game rules, accepts bets, and keeps the game in motion. They also collect lost bets (when the casino wins) or award winnings (when the player wins). For example: The unscrupulous croupier, who had been skimming the casino’s winnings, was accosted by the casino’s security and publicly fired. In an ironic twist, he was also taken to the railway yard where he was beaten with a blackjack and thrown into a boxcar.
- dubious – Pronounced DOO-bee-yuss, the word means that something is questionable or uncertain. One could have a dubious character. One could even be dubious about their opinion of someone’s dubious character. Example: The villain’s henchmen tried to let their boss known that kidnapping the commissioner’s daughter and hiding in a building with skylights was a dubious plan at best. After all, skylights tend to attract people who like to wear capes and rescue people and (worst of all) defeat villains. When the kidnapping went awry the henchmen knew that the villainous boss did not plan to fail. He simply failed to plan. SEE? I even got to use an antimetabole.
- dulcet – Pronounced DUHL-sit, I am not sure why this word strikes me as funny sounding. The word, in its origin, implies sweetness. By definition, it is an adjective that means that something is pleasing (or even soothing) to the senses. Example: The superhero, known as the Night Knight, was relaxing to the dulcet tones of some soft jazz. He was jolted out of his state of serenity when he saw the news alert that the police commissioner’s daughter had been kidnapped. He leapt out of his chair and said: “It’s time to go, Night Knight”. He fought off the involuntary yawning that such phrasing provoked and headed out into that dark, dreary evening.
- excrescence – Pronounced ik-SKREH-shunts, this word is more scientific or medical in nature. It refers to an abnormal, typically harmless, growth on an animal or vegetable body. Warts on the hands or the eyes on a potato could be considered an excrescence. In a different vernacular, a car that lies in a severe state on disrepair on one’s front lawn could be deemed by the neighbors to be an excrescence on the neighborhood. Example: Pierce Franklin knew that King Bizarre was an excrescence on the beloved town of Hawkville which needed to be eradicated by the Night Knight (at which point he involuntarily yawned).
- flummox – Pronounced FLUHM-uks, this word means to confuse or bewilder someone. Somehow, the sound of the word seems to perfectly describe the word’s meaning and intended use in conversation. Example: King Bizarre thought for sure he had the perfect plan to abduct the police commissioner’s daughter, the young and lovely Diamond Lewis. Even with the huge skylights atop the roof, King Bizarre was flummoxed as how he could be so easily apprehended by the Knight Night (which made Bizarre, Lewis, and the henchmen all yawn involuntarily).
- gregarious – Pronounced grih-GAIR-ee-us, the word means that a person (or even an animal) prefers the company of others (especially if the company bears similar traits). Imagine having that one boss or colleague that greets every member of the staff daily and says: “Good morning” and you get the idea of their gregarious nature. Example: The villain, known as King Bizarre, attracted many henchmen due largely to his gregarious nature and dulcet tone of voice. King Bizarre acquired these traits during his work as a croupier before things went arise and he lost his job (leading to his world travels and career in journalism).
- honorific – Pronounced ahn-uh-RIF-ik, the word implies a title or grammatical form that is used to convey honor or respect to someone. Someone who has been knighted by royalty would be given the honorific title of Sir (e.g. Sir Patrick Stewart). Example: Though he did not hold the honorific title of sensei (master), Pierce Franklin taught martial arts to Hawkville teens to encourage self respect and harmony amongst community members. The students had no idea they were being taught by the Night Knight (yet they would involuntarily yawn when discussing the subject)
- hornswoggle – Admittedly, this word is somewhat slang. I am not quite sure what swoggling is. I don’t know quite how one gets swoggled by a horn. I don’t even know if one is at risk of getting their own horn swoggled (if one had horns to swoggle). I just know that it means to swindle or hoax someone and it is a funny sounding word. Example: Newspaper mogul, William Christopher Jones, knew that the police commissioner’s daughter, Diamond Lewis, loved fancy jewelry. As Jones allowed Diamond to admire his fancy ring (acquired from a bazaar in Morocco), the henchmen grabbed Diamond and abducted her. Realizing she had been hornswoggled, she screamed: “HELP ME, NIGHT KNIGHT!” As everyone fought the involuntary yawning, Jones (having revealed himself as King Bizarre), ordered the henchmen to take Diamond to his favorite industrial building near the docks because he love the skylights.
- impregnable – Pronounced im-PREG-nuh-bull, the word means that something or someone is able to withstand an attack or invasion. I think it is the hard G in the word but, the word just sounds like a silly way to describe someone’s level of invulnerability (or lack thereof). Plus, I have never heard of anyone or anything being pregnable (because this is a family show). Example: King Bizarre thought he had the perfect hideout to kidnap the police commissioner’s daughter, Diamond Lewis. After all, he paid good money for the electronic security system. Unfortunately, his beloved skylights proved he was not as impregnable as he thought.
- obsequious – Pronounced uhb-SEE-kwee-us, the word means that someone is being very obedient or compliant to someone else. The word typically implies a submissive and falsely flattering tone. Example: King Bizarre’s obsequious henchmen hailed his superiority as a leader. One even exclaimed: “You’re even better than the Night Knight!” Once everyone stopped yawning, the flattery continued.
- panacea – Pronounced pan-uh-SEE-uh, the word means that a particular solution can solve all problems (i.e. cure-all). I simply love the sound of this word as using it in a phrase or sentence sounds so…well…wordy. Example: The superhero, known to the public as billionaire Pierce Franklin, knew that his alter-ago and vigilante justice would not be a panacea for the city’s ills. Still, he know that his beloved town of Hawkville needed the Night Knight (as he fought off the involuntary yawning).
- pettifogger – Pronounced PET-ee-fog-er, This word, thanks to the wonderful hard letter g, is just wonderful to say. A pettifogger is one who one who debates over trivial matters. What’s even better is that it can be used as a verb. A pettifogger can be said to pettifog or committing the act of pettifoggery. How can you NOT love that? A pettifogger can also refer to a shady lawyer who takes on unimportant cases (or what is also know as an “ambulance chaser”). It is also one of those words that definitely describes its actions well. To describe one’s rhetoric as a petty fog is just hilarious. Example: One only needs to listen to the speech of William Christopher Jones (also known as King Bizarre) to know that he has earned his position a mighty media mogul. He is more than just a former crafty croupier. His is more than just a pedantic pettifogger. He is quite the worthy adversary for the Night Knight (Please, forgive me for yawning).
- rigmarole – Pronounced RIG-muh-roll, This word can be somewhat synonymous to pettifoggery and refer to meaningless talk. Typically, however, it refers to a complex or elaborate procedure to accomplish a task. As a Southern man, it sounds to me like a made up word because it just sounds funny to my ears. Still, it is an actual word. Example: The superhero, known as the Night Knight, yawned involuntarily and pondered the rigmarole of overriding King Bizarre’s security system and stealthily overcoming the henchmen one by one. Instead, he simply chose to save the police commissioner’s daughter, the young and lovely Diamond Lewis, by crashing through the skylights on the roof.
- tantamount – Pronounced TAN-tuh-mount, the word means that one thing is of equal significance or value to another thing. I love the word because I love the way the consecutive syllables of t’s make the word pop out. Example: Despite the henchmen’s legitimate concerns, they knew that pressing the issue of the skylights with King Bizarre would be tantamount to challenging Bizarre’s authority and intelligence.
- tenebrific – Pronounced ten-uh-BRIH-fik, I LOVE the sound of this word. It definitely has a “Tigger” quality to it. It means that something causes gloom or darkness. Example: The police commissioner’s daughter, the young and lovey Diamond Lewis, is safe again to eh relief of the entire town of Hawkville. King Bizarre, who had hoped to swim in a river of jewels, is, instead, headed up the river without a Diamond How’s that for antimetabole?). The superhero, hiding in the tenebrific shadows of the evening, pauses a moment to ponder his daring rescue then says: “It’s time to go, Night Knight.” He yawns involuntarily and disappears.
Well, there you have it, folks – another list of funny sounding words with legitimate uses. If you found that I omitted words from this list (or the previous volumes). Feel free to chime in as long as they meet the guidelines (funny and family friendly). I hope you enjoyed this list. An eighth list is already in the works.Until then, boys and girls, listen to your parents, do well in school, and brush your teeth after every meal. Remember, the beloved town of Hawkville remains safe for another day thanks to the watchful eye of….THE NIGHT KNIGHT! (OMIGOSH! WHY do I keep yawning?)