It’s not clear how many words there are in the English language. Some sources report a rough number of 470,000 words, while others estimate our vocabulary includes about 1 million words. But some linguists have shared that they wouldn’t be surprised if the number was off the mark by a quarter-million.

Words are the building blocks of a language, and with so many terms, it’s no surprise that some of them can get a little… creative, if not utterly weird. When it comes to strange words, our dear English language is a whole treasure chest of oddities.

If weirdness is your cup of tea, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most unusual, creative, and downright funniest words in English, each with its own meaning explained. Whether you’re looking for some lesser-known words to spice up a conversation or just want to be able to say, “Wait, I know what that means”, these are the words for you!

#1

Collywobbles

Meaning: icky feeling due to illness or anxiety.

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Bouche Clay
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I got an upvote for using this word the other day! 😁

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#2

Gobbledygook

Meaning: a language that is incomprehensible or is made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms.

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#3

Snollygoster

Meaning: a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician.

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#4

Brouhaha

Meaning: a noisy and overexcited reaction or response to something.

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#5

Nincompoop

Meaning: a foolish or stupid person.

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#6

Flibbertigibbet

Meaning: a silly person who talks too much.

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Andy
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As in the song "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" from The Sound of Music: How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

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#7

Everywhen

Meaning: an unusual way to say “always” or “all the time."

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#8

Rigamarole

Meaning: a long and complicated and confusing procedure.

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#9

Lackadaisical

Meaning: a person who is lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.

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over it already
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pretty sure lackadaisical is an adjective, not a noun. Remove the 'a person who is' from the definition and it's fine.

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#10

Whippersnapper

Meaning: a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.

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Onion Cutting Ninja
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

ATLA, The king of Omashu, Aang says, "Get over here you young whippersnappers!" also in Tintin and the Crab with the Golden Claws I think it could be a different one when tintin and haddock are on the boat and haddock starts a fire he calls tintin a whippersnapper.

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#11

Dragooned

Meaning: coerce (someone) into doing something.

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Robert Trebor
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dragoons - mounted soldiers at times used for law enforcement before police forces were formed. Horses can be quite effective at crowd control.

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#13

Shenanigans

Meaning: high-spirited or mischievous activity.

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#14

Lollygag

Meaning: This word describes a person that is messing around and doing something that isn’t useful.

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Duesvolent90
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So...I guess we're all lollygagging...But bored panda is useful tho

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#15

Bamboozle

Meaning: to confuse, frustrate, or throw off thoroughly or completely.

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#16

Cantankerous

Meaning: difficult or irritating to deal with.

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#17

Wassail

Meaning: spiced ale or warmed wine drunk during celebrations for Twelfth Night and Christmas Eve.

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Benita Valdez
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

🎶 Here we come a wassailing among the leaves so green 🎶

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#18

Quomodocunquizing

Meaning: making money in any way you can.

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#19

Bloviate

Meaning: talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way.

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Rod McCabe
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bovine are beautiful. Bloviating is generally done by blowhard morons.

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#20

Malarkey

Meaning: insincere or foolish talk.

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#21

Sozzled

Meaning: intoxicated, very drunk.

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#22

Chockablock

Meaning: crammed full of people or things.

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#23

Lickety-split

Meaning: at great speed.

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Let’s All Just Try And Be Decent
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As in, "let's get going lickety-split" to hurry people up, rather than, "well he's going lickety-split" which I've never heard used. Just my experience

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#24

Argle-bargle

Meaning: Meaningless gibberish — whether done by talking or writing.

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#25

Woebegone

Meaning: sad or miserable in appearance.

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Lauren S
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is like if kids named antidepressants

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#26

Bumbershoot

Meaning: an umbrella.

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#27

Hullaballoo

Meaning: a commotion or uproar that's on the unpleasant side.

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Let’s All Just Try And Be Decent
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not always unpleasant, if used in a jokey way or for example, referring to a noisy fun party that got a bit mental but not dangerous

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#28

Spondulicks

Meaning: money, cash.

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Huddo's sister
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was an episode of Daria where Jane and Daria kept making bets, with the 'currency' differing each time, spondulicks being one of them. Think they included Simoleans.

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#29

Nudiustertian

Meaning: relating to the day before yesterday or very recent.

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Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thought it was going to be something to do with nudists.

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#30

Doozy

Meaning: an extraordinary one of its kind.

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Evol
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Watch out for that first step, it's a doozy! Thanks Ned.

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Note: this post originally had 110 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.