8 Weird English Words That Actually Exist
Without a doubt, the English language is one of the richest languages out there. With more than 750,000 words to date, it can also be a bit strange. From homophones to confusing idioms, a lot of English words and expressions are pretty weird.
Today, we’re focusing on the weirdest of the weird English words we could find. Some of these words look odd on paper. A lot of them are just funny when you say them out loud. Either way, all of them are well worth adding to your vocabulary.
Before you ask: yes, all of the following words actually exist. Let’s get started!
Weird English Words You Can Use Every Day
When people talk nonsense, they talk gobbledygook. Their words have zero meaning to you and you have no interest in hearing them speak. Quite frankly, you may also just be bored to death by whatever they’re saying in that moment.
“Did you hear the director’s speech in the meeting? What a bunch of gobbledygook! I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying!”
Similar to gobbledygook, gibberish is used to describe something that makes no sense or words that don’t even sound like English.
“Piece of advice, darling: Don’t listen to Dan. He talks a lot of gibberish.”
Let’s say you’re having a disagreement with someone. You could say you’re having a fuss or problemover something. Well, that fuss is also called a kerfuffle in English.
“Chill, dude. I’m just joking. What’s the kerfuffle about?”
Snickersnee might sound like something funny. On the contrary, it’s actually a weird English word used to describe a long, dangerous knife. Linguists have said this word is slowly becoming obsolete, so now is your chance to keep it alive and share something unique in your next group chat.
“Goodness gracious, Jack’s snickersnee looks like it could kill a dragon!”
We bet you’ve experienced someone bibbling near you at least once in your life. Hmmm… maybe you’re the one that likes to do it. Have you ever met anyone who likes to chew very loudly when eating their favourite food? Yes? Well, what this is called bibbling.
“Argh, I wish these two at the table behind me would just stop bibbling! It’s so irritating!”
This one is hard to pronounce, we know. Abibliophobia is a word that may just describe you perfectly. It is used to describe the fear or running out of things to read. So, are you abibliophobic?
“No new book releases in the library?! Oh no, my abibliophobia is kicking in! Please tell me this isn’t true. You’re just messing with me, right? Oh, God… What am I gonna do?!”
Although it looks like a rare and killer word at a Spelling Bee competition, flibbertigibbet is actually used quite a lot in everyday English. It is used to describe someone who is silly, chatty and just can’t stop talking.
“Does Sarah ever stop talking? She’s such a flibbertigibbet.”
A pauciloquent person is actually the complete opposite of a flibbertigibbet. This word is used to describe a person of few words, someone who doesn’t talk much or is very unlikely to give a long speech, even if it’s their turn to give one.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Danny. I’m pauciloquent.”
When you think about it, knowing today’s weird English words and actually using them in a conversation can be beneficial for even the most pauciloquent of people out there. Try it out!
Why Learn Weird English Words?
You might be thinking to yourself: how can I ever benefit from knowing these strange words? Here are several reasons why.
Increasing your vocabulary is always useful. If there is one universal truth to language learning, it is that one can never know too many words. Listening to native speakers can sometimes be confusing if you don’t have a rich vocabulary. So, understanding just one more word will certainly help.
You now know one more (fun) way to explain something. Everyday conversations with friends, family and colleagues just got easier. Instead of describing something in plain ol’ (boring) English when you’re talking, why not make it interesting and use a new word? Heck, your friends might actually learn a word or two from you.
You get excellent conversation and writing practice. Weird English words often have strange syllable combinations and are difficult to pronounce. This gives you a chance to master their spelling and improve your pronunciation and writing skills.
Learning something others don’t know is always cool. Chances are most English speakers don’t know or have never heard of today’s weird English words. So, welcome to the rarest of English learning clubs!
Want to make learning English fun (and weird)?
Download the LingQ mobile app now (available for both Android and iOS). Expand your vocabulary with useful English words, even the weird ones. Import any content into your lessons and learn English with the content you love.
Until next time, happy learning everyone!
Jasmin Alić is an award-winning EFL/ESL teacher and writing aficionado from Bosnia and Herzegovina with years of experience in multicultural learning environments.