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The top 16 funniest words in English

Creative Director Ted McCagg recently set out to determine the Best Word Ever using a series of Final Four-style brackets. Over a period of weeks on his blog Questionable Skills, McCagg went through each letter of the alphabet, from Akimbo to Zephyr, to determine the best word in English. The winner? Diphthong.

That’s a fun exercise, but it’s hard to make a case that diphthong is truly the best word. (Best in what way?) I’d rather come up with a list of the funniest English words. The kind of word that, delivered correctly, will make you snort milk out your nose. Here’s a quick list of 16:

  • Pants
  • Blunderbuss
  • Loin
  • Doff
  • Debacle
  • Ointment
  • Canoodle
  • Snafu
  • Cow
  • Nookie
  • Daft
  • Boondoggle
  • Kazoo
  • Foible
  • Fart
  • Corpulent

What other words are worthy of being added to this list? And what’s your favorite?

— Spotted via The Atlantic.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Language


  1. phil milner says:

    Sorry you are cutting back a little. I enjoyed your list, thought you might like this one by Robert Francis, a poet, poem called Silent Poem.

    backroad leafmold stonewall chipmunk
    underbrush grapevine woodchuck shadblow

    woodsmoke cowbarn honeysuckle woodpile
    sawhorse bucksaw outhouse wellsweep

    backdoor flagstone bulkhead buttermilk
    candlestick ragrug firedog brownbread

    hilltop outcrop cowbell buttercup
    whetstone thunderstorm pitchfork steeplebush

    gristmill millstone cornmeal waterwheel
    watercress buckwheat firefly jewelweed

    gravestone groundpine windbreak bedrock
    weathercock snowfall starlight cockcrow
    Robert Francis

  2. Chris Becker says:

    I’ve personally been partial to words like preposterous, perplexing, conundrum, bloviate. And also, toot.

  3. Interesting how many on that list are vaguely sobscene. So I shall add these: Turd. Buttock (especially in the singular). Winnets.

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