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Fun English Word Definitions A-Z: Part One

Updated on May 11, 2012
Despite a poor economy, buttling services are in great demand in England and the US.
Despite a poor economy, buttling services are in great demand in England and the US. | Source

Enjoy this collection of funny English words. Each funny word is defined and used in context.

Abibliophobia – The fear of running out of reading material.

  • When I learned about abibliophobia, I suddenly understood Mary Ann’s hoarding of newspapers.

Buttle – To do the work of a butler.

  • After he buttled from dawn until midnight, Jeeves fancied a sherry.

Crapulence – Discomfort from eating or drinking too much.

Mitchell International's recombobulation area
Mitchell International's recombobulation area
  • The city’s restaurant reviewer secretly suffered from chronic crapulence.

Discombobulate – To confuse.

  • Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin accommodates discombobulated travelers in its official Recombobulation Area. (This is real. I love Milwaukee.)

An example of polydactylism
An example of polydactylism | Source

Exogamy – Marriage outside one’s tribe or similar social unit.

  • Judging from the rampant polydactylism, she doubted exogamy was in vogue among the locals.

Formication – The sense of ants crawling on your skin.

  • As she passed the discount clothing rack, Paris suddenly exhibited symptoms of formication. (Because it happened on Rodeo Drive, this was more specifically Califormication.)

Gastromancy – Telling a fortune from the rumblings of the stomach.

  • The fortune teller met up with the crapulent food critic for a quick gastromancy session.

Hemidemisemiquaver – A sixty-fourth note.

  • A hemidemisemiquaver is half as long as a demisemiquaver or thirty-second note.

Ignicolist –A fire-worshipper

  • Investigators believe that Harry Burkhart is an ignicolist who set fires not only in Los Angeles but also in Vancouver.

Jackanapes – A conceited man or saucy, mischievous child

  • The colorful etymology of “jackanapes” involves a monkey, an unpopular duke and Naples, Italy.

There was quite a kerfuffle whenever the cats traveled.
There was quite a kerfuffle whenever the cats traveled. | Source

Kerfuffle – A commotion or agitation

  • Traveling internationally always involves some kerfuffle.

Logorrhea – Loquaciousness, talkativeness.

  • Trying to skirt the issue, the politician descended into almost comical logorrhea.

Mumpsimus – A person who repeatedly makes an error out of habit, ignorance or obstinacy.

  • These quotes are from Archie Bunker, a famous fictitious mumpsimus:
  1. “Call it a father's intermission, but I smell a rat!”
  2. “[C]onfirm that the Bunkers is goin' to Florida as pre-deranged.”
  3. "Goodbye and good ribbons!"


That’s all for now. Goodbye & good ribbons to you... but please follow my hub for more great words. Click here for part 2!


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    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Voted up and interesting. I'd never heard of crapulence before. But now I know the etymology of the more popular synonym: sh** faced.

    • lmmartin profile image


      9 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I am so entirely discombobulated I am all in a kerfuffle.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      9 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Interesting hub. Thank you.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      9 years ago from Jamaica

      I was about to scream...SHE LEFT OFF N-Z! Sorry, I read the title again. Those were funny. I actually think I suffered Abibliophobia as a teen. I read a lot of Mills & Boon, Harlequin, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I was always afraid of not having anything to read so before I finished the one I am reading I would go out and purchase another. Maybe it wasn't a phobia as much as an addiction. I still hate not having books or magazines around.


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