Words that Are Fun to Say


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As a word lover, I take delight in rolling words around in my brain and off my tongue, the way they feel coming together, the way the consonants and vowels and diphthongs (think “ai” and “ei” and “oi”) all work together to make sounds, almost like music. And as a mother of three small, lisping children, I love watching them get tongue-tied as they learn new words and sounds. My two-year-old’s favorite word this week is “delicious.” Suddenly everything she eats is “dewishous.” My four- and five-year-old are obsessed with Fozzie Bear’s favorite saying: “Wacka wacka wacka”—it’s always good for a laugh at our house.

But some words are just fun to say, no matter how old you are… Here are some of my favorites, in the most random order possible, so as not to hurt any of the words’ feelings:

squish
squash
quash
squander
squiggle
sasquatch
(As you can see, any word with “sh” or “squ” in it is pretty much a guaranteed winner.)
wiggle
wriggle
bumble bee
tumbleweed
scrumptious
delectable
smorgasbord (I credit my love for this word to Ben Stiller, and a random favorite movie line, from “Meet the Parents”: “O dear God… we thank you sweet sweet Lord of hosts for this smorgasbord you have so aptly lain at our table this day, and each day… by day. Day by day… by day.”)
ginormous (Yep, it’s made the dictionary now.)
onomatopoeia
serendipitous
felicity
abominable (As in, the Abominable Snowman. Or, if you are my sister Alexandra, you might call him the Abdominal Snowman. No comment.)
ogle
Yiddish (Also, all Yiddish words are fun to say, now that I think about it.)
nebulous
lugubrious
narcissistic
Weeki Wachi (I swear, it’s a real place: Weeki Wachi Springs, in Florida. Google it. Apparently, they have mermaids there. Actually, I could go on and on about all the fun Native American names that pop up on the US map, especially in Florida and Georgia… Hiawassee, Okahumpka, Saskatchewan… the list is endless. But since these aren’t technically English words, we’ll move on. Sadly.)
reptilian
Volkswagen (Okay, so this one isn’t English either, but… well, whatever. My list, my rules.)
All the omni-words are fun:
omnivorous
omnipresent
omniscient
amnesiac
hypochondriac
ophthalmologist (Who knew it was spelled like this, right?!)
amalgam
ubiquitous
wallop
dollop
Yoo-hoo (The Southern variant, Yee-haw, is an instant pick-me-up. Try it. You’ll like it.)
y’all (Another beautiful Southern word, which I like because of its gender neutrality. It frees us from the ever-present Northern dilemma of calling everyone “you guys.” Tsk tsk.)
voyeur
Bunko
hunker
hanker (“I hanker for a hunk of cheese”… anybody else remember that song?)
handkerchief
scintilla
flicker
firefly
quaint
decaf grande nonfat no-whip mocha (That would be my drink at Starbucks. Just saying it makes me happy.)
sasparilla
cinnamon
sassafrass
spaghetti (I am happy to report that my children do, in fact, call it “bisketti.”)
gnocchi (How you get “nyo-kee” out of gnocchi is a mystery to me, but it is infinitely entertaining.)
snot, booger, and related bodily-function-type words, which are fun to say for gross reasons. What can I say? I think a 12-year-old boy lives inside me somewhere. (Although snot and booger do have a certain ring to them.)
shish kebab
shenanza* (*Not a real word. Unless you are my brother David, trying to invent a word that means both extravaganza and shindig, while speaking in front of hundreds of people.)
chuggle* (*Also not a real word. Unless you are my Dad, trying to say chug and jiggle or juggle, or something along those lines.)
Grandolorious! Fantabulous!* (*Also not real words. Unless you are Alexis Weymouth, Crystal Waters’ spunky best friend, who likes to combine adjectives to make them more glamorous.)
The Thirteenth Summer is the best book ever. (Wait, did I actually just write that? That’s a sentence, not a word. Silly me.)

Feel free to add some of your favorite words… this list could go on and on and on… and that in itself is a testament to the beauty of words.

Author: Elizabeth Laing Thompson VIEW ALL AUTHORS POSTS

Elizabeth works from home as a writer, editor, diaper changer, baby snuggler, laundry slayer, not-so-gourmet chef, kid chauffeur, floor mopper, dog groomer, and tantrum tamer. She is always tired, but it's mostly the good kind.

20 comments

Comments
  • Stacey5174 March 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Ha! I love it!!!! Thanks for coming up with these fine words:)

  • Darcy March 17, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Oh frabjous day!
    Darcy

  • Lisa Laing March 17, 2011 at 3:45 am

    So was the “you guys” a subtle jab at me as the token New Yorker in the family? Cause I do refuse to say “y’all”. It does drip off the tongue and it is very tempting to say, so I do make a constant effort to replace every temptation to say “y’all” with “you guys”. I do have a reputation to uphold you know, being “from New York”…. At least I don’t say “you’s guy’s” or the ever popular “yer guyses”. Although both of those are fun to say.

    • Talia Laing March 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Lisa, I say “you guys” as well. I can’t help it, although being married to Jonathan has made it more natural for me to transition to “y’all”.

      Also, Elizabeth, narcissim/narcisstic are even better when abbreviated to “narcy”: “I’m such a narcy sometimes”. Sadly, I got a lot of use out of that in college.

      • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 1:06 am

        Talia, I knew that your semi-feminist ways would make it much easier for you to embrace the gender-neutral “y’all.” I would think that women around the world would stand up and decry the deplorable usage of “you guys” and celebrate “y’all” as the champion of gender equality. And I don’t think you’re a narcy at all… “narcy”… nice… I’m going to steal that word.

    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 1:03 am

      No, no, Lisa, this is not a jab at you, though I am sad that we have not yet converted you to the usage of “y’all.” Try it. You’ll like it. You’ll never look back at your “you guys” days.

  • Julie M March 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Love them all…and I never hear “hanker” and don’t sing the old cheese song.

    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Hey! Somebody remembers! What a great little ditty. “Ditty” is also very fun to say.

  • Hkrafty March 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Impressive list but you forgot Mama Pakitalei-whoo. How could you?:)

    • Sam Laing March 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      If this is Heather my niece…how about “storty”?

    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 12:58 am

      I also forgot “hongeda.”

  • Gailkarwoski March 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    This is my Inner Dork commenting:
    – Another “list” of words that are fun to collect are those words that only continue to live because of their usefulness in crossword puzzles (which were my fave waste-time thing until I discovered “Plants n Zombies” and the zombies ate my BRAINS!) Such as: ort
    – Or the coined words for combined creatures, such as the zedonk that was born a few months ago in the nature center near Gainesville, GA, or “designer dogs” such as the labradoodle.
    – Gail Langer Karwoski

    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 12:58 am

      Haha, Gail, I really like your inner dork! I am thinking I should NOT challenge you to a game of Scrabble, where you could employ your bizarre word list from your crossword puzzle days… (not that I am in the habit of challenging people in Scrabble duels, lest my inner dork appear even geekier than usual)
      And let’s be honest: We could say “labradoodle” all day long and never stop laughing.

  • Sam Laing March 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Very good article! Only a word lover would do this!!
    I like the word “crackle’ which is an onomatopoeia, of course. I also like the word “crisp.”
    “Sheboygan” is my favorite name for a boring or generalized town.
    “shenanza” should be added to the dictionary.
    “Chuggle” as I recall is from an occasion when I was observing those unwieldy two-person plastic paddle boats they use at Caribbean resorts.
    The people were “chugging along” but “struggling” to get where they were going, and I remarked that they were “chuggling” – not a conscious decision, just came out.
    Another moment of word creation you actually witnessed at church fellowship was me calling a young guy in Miami “pud.” Took me a moment to figure out what I was saying, and why. It was an instantaneous creation: “pal” + “bud”= “pud.” I have used this term many times since then, not deliberately, and with equally great embarrassment.
    And, exiting an airplane, walking mindlessly down the aisle by the the assembled flight crew…I looked at them and said “Good bye-bye.” They stared at me quizzically. I paused for a millisecond, blinked, blanched, and just kept moving down the jetway. – Dad

  • Jesse Ghoman March 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    It would probably take me a week to even think of all of these words. Another way that a Laing (or former Laing) has helped to educate me.

    • Elizabeth L Thompson March 18, 2011 at 1:10 am

      Oh, Jesse, I think you underestimate that Bostonian vocabulary of yours… ;-D

  • Jonathan Laing March 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    1) “A hunka hunka hunk of cheese!” I miss that commercial, and still don’t understand why a peanut sang the jingle.
    2) My favorite Florida town name: Sopchoppy.
    3) Chuggle is a perfect word.
    4) My favorite Yiddish play: “Dibbick Schmibbick, I Said ‘More Ham.'”
    5) I recall regaling the family with a particularly glorious public-speaking moment, exclaiming, “The cloud erupted into spontaneous clapter!”

  • Elizabeth L Thompson March 28, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I thought of a few more words that should have made the list:
    doppelganger
    hypochondriac
    smarmy.

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