Fun Words


I don’t usually stay up late enough to watch Conan O’Brien but awhile back I caught a show during which he campaigned to bring back use of the word thrice.

Thrice. Indeed, a fun word.

Yesterday Karen wrote about beautiful words so well that today I thought we could play with words and look at those that are entertaining. I’d like to suggest some other fun words that I think just aren’t used enough.


Because I’d rather negotiate contracts, send out proposals, and encourage writers, I employ a slapdash approach to housekeeping.


While Steve Laube is draconian regarding book proposals, cooperative writers are rewarded with praise and contracts.


Popular agents and editors face a phalanx of proposals upon returning from conferences.


There’s a lot of work twixt writing a proposal and getting a book published.


We are never allowed to be ribald in CBA.


I can do my slapdash housework lickety-split!


Incoherent proposals make me fractious.


Oh, I’m feeling tolerable today. How about you?


Serious words everyone needs to say more often. Seriously:

I love you.

You are beautiful.

I thank God for you every day.


Your turn:

What are some fun words you like?

35 Responses to Fun Words

  1. Avatar
    Debbie Lynne Costello November 10, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I’d like to see thrice and twixt come back. My family still uses lickety-split and tolerable. But I love slap-dash. Had forgotten all about that word. I need to throw it into my vocabulary. And Tamela, I thank God for you every day. You are a blessing!

    • Avatar
      Melissa November 10, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      Hear! Hear! for thrice, I use it all the time, maybe if enough of us refuse to leave it alone it’ll come back!

  2. Avatar
    Kathleen L. Maher November 10, 2011 at 5:37 am #

    I was the original word nerd in high school, so this IS fun.


    Thanks for showing a girl a good time! πŸ˜€

    • Avatar
      Debbie Lynne Costello November 10, 2011 at 6:07 am #

      Fancy meeting you here Critter. Let’s not forget balderdash. I remember that being a favorite word of the adults when I was a child. Yikes! Does that date me?

  3. Avatar
    Bob Hostetler November 10, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Lickspittle. Gets the point across without profanity.

  4. Avatar
    Ane Mulligan November 10, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    My favorite of those is phalanx, and especially the sentence you wrote. It gives such a wonderful word picture of those proposals lined up, shoulder to shoulder, an immovable force until you’ve read them all. LOL

  5. Avatar
    Jodi Aman November 10, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    “I am sorry.” By far the most powerfully healing yet underused phrase.

    For fun I like “taradiddle.”

  6. Avatar
    Brad Huebert November 10, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Once, before bed, my weary wife looked at a pile of something needing to be cleaned and mumbled, “I’ll do it tomorning.” That should be an official word, in my opinion.

  7. Avatar
    Steve Laube November 10, 2011 at 7:37 am #


  8. Avatar
    Tamela Hancock Murray November 10, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I am having a blast reading all of your comments. And thank you so much, Debbie Lynne! Right back atcha! πŸ™‚

  9. Avatar
    Liz Tolsma November 10, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    I dunno. My kids say this all the time, especially when I ask them questions. Said without any consonants – just vowels and inflections. Our family also loves columnar. It’s an inside joke πŸ™‚

  10. Avatar
    Carol Moncado November 10, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    They used the word pollywog on the radio this morning.

    It’s a fun word.

    I think pterodactyl is fun too :D. The word. The actual dinosaurs would be scary. I saw/read whichever Jurassic Park it was they were in. No thank you.

  11. Avatar
    Lynn Coleman November 10, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is my favorite fun word. When I say it Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke singing it comes back to mind and it does lift my spirits. Wiki has a great history of the word and how it came to be.

  12. Avatar
    Jill November 10, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    I like cute fun words like puffy, fluffy, sunshine, cuddle, and the slang word huggle ^.^

  13. Avatar
    Anita Mae Draper November 10, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Lynn got the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in there first. I like it, too. πŸ™‚

    I actually coined a word back in ’07 when I got tired of people asking if I was a reader or a writer. I call myself a wreader. (Don’t laugh too hard.)

    I like ‘derisively’. I used it in a contest entry once and a judge said it was a 50 cent word that most people wouldn’t understand. She advised me to stick to 5 cent words. *sigh

    Other favs:
    – facetious
    – cummerbund
    – do-hickey
    – iota

    Now that my mind’s rolling with wonderful words, I’m off to write. Ta-ta
    Oh, there’s another one. πŸ™‚

    • Avatar
      Melissa November 10, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      Aw, keep your 50 cent word, that’s how you grow vocabularies is through reading. Imagine if we never put in 50 cent words, no one would learn new words. Now if you were using 50 cent words every sentence, that’s something else and just show off, but I doubt you were doing that.

    • Avatar
      Sue Moore November 10, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Sometimes the 50-cent word is the best word…especially when you would have to utilize more than 10 5-cent words to get the same point across πŸ™‚

  14. Avatar
    Julie Jarnagin November 10, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Fun post! I’m a fan of “facetious.”

  15. Avatar
    Davalynn Spencer November 10, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Twitterpate aptly describes what my children did as post-toddlers. It probably means something else today thanks to that little blue bird. My son once hollered from the back seat of our car (regarding his little sister), “Amanda is anagonating me!” Unfortunately, I knew exactly what he meant. Scary. But perhaps my favorite word(s) was coined by a sixth grader in my Ancient World History class who believed we were going to learn about Mrs. Potamia.

  16. Avatar
    Candy Arrington November 10, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    I’ve always liked onomatopoeia:the naming of a thing or action by vocal imitation of the sound associated with it.

    I also like bamboozle and hoodwink.

    When my father was growing up, his family lived next door to a family named Davenport. Apparently, the Davenports weren’t especially nice, so the children took to calling each other “you ol’ Davenport” when annoyed with each other.

  17. Avatar
    Rick Barry November 10, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    And let’s preserve “nefarious,” please.

    The last time I referred to a character in a movie as nefarious, heads swiveled toward me and I saw the unspoken question: “He was WHAT?” Lol.

  18. Avatar
    gwyn weyant November 10, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Fun words here are a few of mine.
    thingamabob,dohickey, and whatchmacallit

    Horse or bull feathers(works nicely instead of cussing)

    And the latest in my current vocabulary

    his infernal clipboard that he carries every where.

    These are just a few.

    Love you too

    God bless.

  19. Avatar
    Anita Mae Draper November 10, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Thanks, Melissa. I once read a contemporary romance with 50 cent words in every paragraph. I looked up every word, too. It was a terrific learning experience, however I didn’t derive any pleasure from it. The story got lost in the dictionary.

    Speaking of kids and words… We were discussing pasteurized milk once and our then two-year-old, who was very adept at speaking, kept saying she didn’t understand what passing the milk near your eyes had to do with it. (And the drum goes Da-dum.)

  20. Avatar
    Sue Moore November 10, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Hijinks and tomfoolery are good. I also like discombobulated…I have felt like that a lot this semester πŸ™‚

    As for under-used phrases:
    I apologize.
    I was wrong.
    You are special. (or awesome, or any other kind of uplifting word.)

    I sometimes get funny looks from others when I tell my grown children they totally rock, to which I respond, “well, they do.”

  21. Avatar
    Marielena November 10, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    My aunt Mildred and grandmom from Tennessee used to say that a lot, “I’m feeling tolerable today,” so how nice to see that word/phrase used again! And Anita, “past your eyes” — too funny! Jodi, I love, love “I am sorry” as the most healing words we can use. My most recent favorite word came to me through a friend’s short story: Supplication. So filled with yearning and meaning.

  22. Avatar
    Sara Baysinger November 10, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Bombastic! I’m pretty sure I heard Angela Hunt use this word at the Indy writers conference this weekend. It made me smile….

  23. Avatar
    Peter DeHaan November 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    A few years ago I learned the word “fard” from A Word A Day.

    Unfortunately, there are few occasions to utter it — and then it must be spoken with the utmost care.

    • Avatar
      Dena Netherton November 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      Peter, what does “fard” mean? I would love to use it some day.

  24. Avatar
    Dena Netherton November 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I especially love words that begin with “t.” Don’t rightly know why. But here are a few:
    turgid and tumid (which have the same definition)
    and tintinabulation.

  25. Avatar
    Cheryl Williams November 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m a fan of the word ‘tolerable’, as in, things are ‘tolerable to middling’.

  26. Avatar
    Tamela Hancock Murray November 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    What fun posts! Cheryl, my grandmother used to say, “Fair to middling.”

  27. Avatar
    Janice Thompson November 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    My faves: discombobulated, bumfuzzled and bamboozled

  28. Avatar
    Kathleen L. Maher November 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    With a nod at my Irish ancestry: shenanigans, leprechaun, shillelagh

  29. Avatar
    Linda Petersen May 1, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    I, too, love the word facetious, and use it all the time. Unfortunately, my youngest son does also. He will do something completely, obnoxiously sarcastic, and then indicate he was only being “facetious”. Yeah, right….

    • Avatar
      Tamela Hancock Murray May 1, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      Linda — How funny! (Of course, it’s easy for *me* to say that since I’m not his mom.) At least you know you are teaching him an awesome vocabulary!

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