A few years ago, Dr. Robert Beard compiled a list of the 100 funniest words he had come across in nearly a decade of daily vocabulary emails he would send to hundreds of thousands of people.
Here’s the list of his 100 funniest English words. I’ve always been a fan of brouhaha, canoodle, doozy, flibbertigibbet, hootenanny, kerfuffle, ornery, rambunctious, shenanigan, skedaddle, and troglodyte.
Which one is your favorite? Any funny words you think should be added to the list?
I’m usually in the camp that it’s better to use simple, short, old words that everyone understands when writing fiction. I am not amused or impressed by authors who have a love affair with their thesaurus and shove every possible multisyllabic word into their text. Once again, I am looking at you, Christopher Paolini.
But if there’s a fun word that fits naturally in the tone of the novel, throw one in every once in a while! Make it a word that people circle in their books because they love it and want to use it in conversation during their lunch break. Just remember, simplicity is best, no matter what this guy says. You want to be readable, not detestable.
Less is more.