Macquarie Dictionary


Boondoggle! Funny words that you should learn

The English language is a funny thing. Some words make sense and others… well they take a dictionary to decipher. There are words that will discombobulate or even cause a bit of brouhaha. But once you know their meaning they’ll make perfect sense! Unless we’re full of malarky?

Let’s have a squiz at some of our favourite tongue-twisting words and you can tell us which ones you already knew in the comments below!

If you’re caught cheating when playing marbles it’s called fanannywhacking or cribbing (part of our Australian Word Map), which of course only a nincompoop, or idiot (a contributor’s favourite word from this enjoyable list) would do.

If you’re interested in astronomy you’d know syzygy is the conjunction or opposition of two heavenly bodies. Also a selection from our ‘beautiful words’ series. And if you’re interested in cartography you’d know exactly where Woop Woop and Kickastickalong are located.

When you’re chock-a-block full of flummery you’ll probably develop the collywobbles or maybe you’ll just cark it. And if you’ve lost your wee juggler, make sure the lost signs say, ‘Major Mitchell’, white wings, pink underparts, neck and face, and white crown suffused with salmon pink and forward-curving scarlet crest. Save everyone the rigmarole and faffing around trying to find it!

Some more words that are just fun to say are:

  • pronking (of an animal such as a springbok) leaping into the air with all four legs extended

  • widdershins in a direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun

  • canoodling fondling or petting

  • poop deck a raised deck built on the stern of a ship above the main deck

  • lolligagging playing around foolishly or aimlessly; wasting time

  • bumfuzzled confused or bewildered

  • mugwump someone who acts as an independent or affects superiority, especially in politics

  • pettifogging quibbling over petty details

  • spondulicks money

  • macaronic involving a mixture of languages

  • somnambulist someone with the habit of walking about, and often of performing various other acts, while asleep; sleepwalker

Let us know what words tickle your fancy below.


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