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smallthunder
03-13-2007, 01:07 AM
I read a blog article about writing humor by Scott Adams (of "Dilbert" fame), and among other things, he suggested using "funny" words whenever possible. As an example, he cited "yank" instead of "pull."

I was wondering what other common English words might naturally seem funny (to many people) ... might make an interesting list.

Got any candidates for such a list?

Rich
03-13-2007, 01:12 AM
The "K" sound tends to tickle ribs. I don't know why.

"Yank' has a more explosive meaning than "pull." Could be that.

MajorDrums
03-13-2007, 01:26 AM
"Spank" sounds funny to me. "Dude got spanked!":D

Yeah, usually you'd find words that have the "k" sound to illicit a funny response. It's been researched, I've heard, but I don't know where.

nancy02664
03-13-2007, 01:32 AM
I think "penal" is funny: it sounds like something dirty, but it isn't. Penal colony, penal code... ew.

benbradley
03-13-2007, 01:41 AM
Some multisyllabic words seem to appear everywhere - like ubiquitous.

Dunno why, but it seems that yank and spank are related. Never mind me, I'm just monkeying around...

scarletpeaches
03-13-2007, 01:44 AM
Moist.

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-13-2007, 01:50 AM
discombobulate

Tiger
03-13-2007, 01:54 AM
"Indefatigable" for long
"Smudge" for short

smallthunder
03-13-2007, 01:54 AM
Why am I not surprised?

Wikipedia has covered this topic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherently_funny_word

And who can argue with Dave Barry? Quoted in the wikipedia entry:

Dave Barry's 1991 book Dave Barry Talks Back reprints a column on linguistic humor. He contrasts the phrases "Richard Nixon wearing a necktie" with "Richard Nixon wearing a neck weasel", and "Scientists have discovered a 23rd moon orbiting Jupiter" with "Scientists have discovered a giant weasel orbiting Jupiter." He concludes that weasel is a very funny word - "You can improve the humor value of almost any situation by injecting a weasel into it."

Tiger
03-13-2007, 01:54 AM
I think "penal" is funny: it sounds like something dirty, but it isn't. Penal colony, penal code... ew.

Penal coding... Is that like fingerprinting?

Thump
03-13-2007, 02:19 AM
There are a few words that tickle me :)

Some: duck, snark, cow, fish, fizzle, bootleg, llama (a big favorite that way :D), turtle (a lot of animals eh?), pickle, booze, torch, spoon, spunk and badinnage.

Rich
03-13-2007, 02:24 AM
Badinage? I couldn't raise a seriously nuanced giggle over "badinage. "

Maryn
03-13-2007, 02:29 AM
I'm amused by snorkle and bobble. Also the name Humphrey. And a town we often pass on the Thruway, Herkimer, which rivals Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Maryn, word freak

Jersey Chick
03-13-2007, 02:42 AM
There's a town in Ireland named Sneem. When I went there many moons ago, I had to see it. It still cracks me up.

It was also the winner of Ireland's "Tidy Town" contest (swear to God, it's true, they have signs posted all over the country.) back in the late 80s, early 90s.

zenwriter
03-13-2007, 02:48 AM
There’s a town here in Newfoundland called Dildo – tourists love getting their picture taken right in front of the sign for the town’s limits. My personal favourite for funny words is “formication.” It refers to the hallucination of insects crawling over the skin. Apparently, it’s a rather unfunny symptom of withdrawal.

Rich
03-13-2007, 02:52 AM
Kaki!

Chumplet
03-13-2007, 05:57 AM
'Cow'. I don't know why, but I think cows are some kind of alien creature that was dropped on our planet just for us to laugh at. They're funny looking, funny sounding... just funny.

Elektra
03-13-2007, 07:23 AM
Strident. Pickle. Bruschetta.

Elektra
03-13-2007, 07:24 AM
There’s a town here in Newfoundland called Dildo – tourists love getting their picture taken right in front of the sign for the town’s limits. My personal favourite for funny words is “formication.” It refers to the hallucination of insects crawling over the skin. Apparently, it’s a rather unfunny symptom of withdrawal.

Masticate!

Chumplet
03-13-2007, 08:04 AM
Hee hee, I told a guy in the cafeteria in high school to stop masticating in public. Everybody laughed and he blushed. When I told him it meant chewing, he almost clocked me.

cfc
03-13-2007, 09:11 AM
Underpants, boomerang, skidaddle, vamoose, the name
Bob", munchkin, fogey, geezer, mush mouth - I'm sure there's more, but it's late ... whaddya want for nuthin'?

Wordworm
03-13-2007, 09:30 AM
Balzac

benbradley
03-13-2007, 10:19 AM
'Cow'. I don't know why, but I think cows are some kind of alien creature that was dropped on our planet just for us to laugh at. They're funny looking, funny sounding... just funny.
Never underestimate cows.
http://cowswithguns.com

Tigger
03-13-2007, 11:28 AM
'Cow'. I don't know why, but I think cows are some kind of alien creature that was dropped on our planet just for us to laugh at. They're funny looking, funny sounding... just funny.

Oh no cows are great, we used to have them in a padock behind my office building (ok that is what comes from building your nations capital in a sheep padock) and i used to talk to them all the time. I think cows have that permanat look of listning on their faces. The look thoughtful, great sounding bords, or just someone to windge to when you were having a bad day.

Funny words for me are words like
Ablution, can you Ablute (that is a funny word)
and mispellings, i spent a while 'disrobing' instead of discribing the organisation. So now whenever i give a presentation i can't but stop to laugh.

Elektra
03-13-2007, 08:16 PM
I think "penal" is funny: it sounds like something dirty, but it isn't. Penal colony, penal code... ew.

It's like 'addictive personality', which sounds like a good thing to have, but isn't. Or sufferage.

Higgins
03-13-2007, 09:15 PM
There’s a town here in Newfoundland called Dildo – tourists love getting their picture taken right in front of the sign for the town’s limits. My personal favourite for funny words is “formication.” It refers to the hallucination of insects crawling over the skin. Apparently, it’s a rather unfunny symptom of withdrawal.

Not the delusion that ants invented formica?

I always think (perhaps erroneously) that adding "mental" renders things a bit "funny"..."mental reservations"..."mental misgivings"..."mental sense of savoir-faire"..."mental note to self"...."mental calculations"...."mental eviction notice"...."the mental heavy metal in his head" and so on.

smallthunder
03-13-2007, 10:00 PM
Never underestimate cows.
http://cowswithguns.com

It appears that many people find cows funny -- think of all those "Far Side" comic strips -- and how one of Bart Simpson's tag lines is: "Don't have a cow, man!"

There must be a word out there that describes this phenomenon ... cows as comedy ...

underthecity
03-14-2007, 12:26 AM
Bong!

Evaine
03-14-2007, 12:38 AM
Tim Brooke-Taylor (of the Goodies and other comedy programmes) once made the point that any word can be funny if you say it often enough in the right context. To prove this, he started saying "teapot" at random through the programme. By the end, the audience fell about laughing whenever the word was mentioned.

Shady Lane
03-15-2007, 02:54 AM
I laugh like crazy whenever I hear the word "usurp." I just love it.

Jersey Chick
03-15-2007, 03:47 AM
What about "kumquat"?

or Hobbes' favorite word - "quark"

Silver King
03-15-2007, 04:11 AM
Uranus

nancy02664
03-15-2007, 04:18 AM
What about "kumquat"?

You reminded me of another: quahog.

Tiger
03-15-2007, 04:34 AM
Actually, almost anything starting with a Q...

Quagga

Stew21
03-15-2007, 04:47 AM
swig, pluck, snoot

Silver King
03-15-2007, 04:57 AM
Thespian

Lyxdeslic
03-15-2007, 05:03 AM
So far, my vote is for "kumquat". I'll add -- titillating -- as another good one...for obvious reasons of juvenality. :)

RLB
03-15-2007, 08:31 AM
Bespectacled...

Stressed
03-15-2007, 05:31 PM
A guy I used to work with would insult people’s intelligence by referring to them as “Skels” or “Bell-ends”. For some reason they always totally crease me up and I use them as often as I can. “Scrote” always works for me too.

C.bronco
03-15-2007, 05:36 PM
irksome, ubliet, stinkwort

Soccer Mom
03-15-2007, 08:40 PM
kumquats are indeed humorous. But don't forget our other funny veggis: turnip, rutabega, and cabbage.

smallthunder
03-16-2007, 02:25 AM
kumquats are indeed humorous. But don't forget our other funny veggis: turnip, rutabega, and cabbage.

Yes, I'd vote for "rutabega" --

I have friends who called their newborn boy (1st child): The Rutabega.

As in, "Do you have the Rutabega?"

"Nope -- I thought you had him."

Cat Scratch
03-16-2007, 02:49 AM
Diapers. Diapers is a funny word.

Jersey Chick
03-16-2007, 04:34 AM
Yes, I'd vote for "rutabega" --

I have friends who called their newborn boy (1st child): The Rutabega.

As in, "Do you have the Rutabega?"

"Nope -- I thought you had him."

OK - this beats kumquat! ;)

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-16-2007, 02:00 PM
Isn't it spelled "rutabaga"? Or is "rutabega" maybe a regionalism?

In England, we just call them "swedes". Much easier!

Soccer Mom
03-16-2007, 07:39 PM
Not sure. I've always spelled it "rutabega." Maybe it is a regionalism. I'm down here in central Texas. We tend to do things our own way.

truelyana
03-16-2007, 08:13 PM
circumstancial - hahaa

amongst other words - practically all of them

Tralala
03-17-2007, 03:32 AM
"Heinie" is always good for a smirk and/or giggle. I like "smock," too (another of Hobbes's favorites). (The word "packet" has always bugged me ... I have no idea why. Maybe we need a thread on "tinny" words.)

Silver King
03-17-2007, 05:05 AM
circumstancial - hahaa
In my haste to read her response, I thought for sure true said circumcisional. By the time I caught my breath, I realized the error of my reading ways.

Two more words of note: platypus and seacock. (I cleaned my home's gutters today, and that's where I must've left my mind...)

Jersey Chick
03-17-2007, 05:09 AM
Ooohh... I forgot smock! And heinie is sure to give me the giggles as well :D

Lavinia
03-27-2007, 09:17 PM
doily

Lavinia
03-27-2007, 09:19 PM
*mandate*...whenever my pastor uses the word, my friend and I look at each other and crack up (until my husband gives me a dirty look)because it sounds like *someone* wants a man-date as in a date with a man. I know...i know...we're so immature!

Lavinia

Lavinia
03-27-2007, 09:20 PM
Oh and one more; Dork (did you know that's the name for a whale's penis?)

JimmyB27
03-28-2007, 03:26 PM
Bum

Jersey Chick
03-28-2007, 04:36 PM
Splat or squish...

The Scip
03-28-2007, 05:17 PM
gravy

threedogpeople
04-12-2007, 12:21 PM
Humdinger and ding-a-ling are two of my favorite giggle words.

Oh, oh, I also think muff (a fashion accessory designed to keep a ladies hands warm) and knocker (as in door knocker) are often misunderstood.

Devil Ledbetter
04-14-2007, 05:58 PM
Moot, when verbized. As in, moot the point.

Scrumptious

Spliff

Cheeto Spooz

Harangue

KCathy
04-14-2007, 10:50 PM
Pumpernickel

Snickerdoodle

Ragwort

Obama (Sorry; I'm sure he's a nice guy and I'm not laughing at his politics, but it just sounds like a made-up toddler word. Say it with a baby voice, honestly. Ohhhh BAMMA!)

Elektra
04-15-2007, 03:34 AM
Lobster

licity-lieu
04-15-2007, 03:48 AM
wysteria.....
boob or, to top man-date, how 'bout man boob!

scarletpeaches
04-15-2007, 03:49 AM
Spooge.

smallthunder
04-16-2007, 04:46 AM
Spliff

Cheeto Spooz

Harangue

OK, OK -- are these REAL words? "Spliff"? "Cheeto Spooz"? (Cheeto, OK -- but "Spooz"?)

Same goes for "Spooge," scarletpeaches -- are you making up words here?