Whimsey


Pat Davids here. I ran across this great list compiled by Mark Nichol on Daily Writing Tips.com. They are whimsical words and I challenge you to use a few of them in a sentence. Now, I already love balderdash, but I've never used it in a book. Bodacious was one of my brother Bob's favorite words when he was a teen. Do you see your new or old favorite word in the group? I'm going to make sure at least three of these wonderful words gets used in my next book. One of them will not be borborygmus.


absquatulate: to flee, abscond
abstemious: restrained in consumption of food and alcohol
balderdash: nonsense
ballyhoo: commotion, hype
bindle stiff: hobo
bodacious: remarkable, voluptuous
borborygmus: sound of intestinal gas
cahoots (in the expression “in cahoots with”): scheming
callipygian: possessing a shapely derriere
cantankerous: irritating, difficult
carbuncle: pustule
caterwaul: to wail or protest noisily
cattywampus: in disarray
cockamamie (also cockamamie): ridiculous
comeuppance: just deserts
concupiscent: possessed of erotic desire
copacetic (also copasetic, copesetic): satisfactory
curmudgeon: ill-tempered (and often old) person
debauchery: sensual gratification
doohickey: gadget or attachment
effluvium: unpleasant smell
factotum: all-around servant or attendant
farrago: confused mixture
festoon: to decorate; dangling decorative chains
finagle: to trick
fisticuffs: fighting with fists
flabbergasted: dumbfounded
flagitious: villainous
flibbertigibbet: flighty person
flummoxed: confused
foible: fault
folderol: nonsense
foofaraw: flash, frills
fusty: moldy, musty, old-fashioned
gallimaufry: mixture, jumble
gallivant: to jaunt or carouse
gobbledygook: nonsense, indecipherable writing
haberdasher: men’s clothier; provider of sundries
harridan: shrewish woman
higgledy-piggledy: in a disorganized or confused manner
high jinks (also hijinks): boisterous antics
hodgepodge: mixture, jumble
hokum: nonsense
hoodwink: to deceive
hoosegow: jail
hornswoggle: to dupe or hoax
hortatory: advisory
hullabaloo: uproar
ignoramus: dunce
imbroglio: confused predicament
jackanapes: impudent or mischievous person
jiggery-pokery: deceit
kerfuffle: disturbance
lackadaisical: bereft of energy or enthusiasm
loggerheads (in the expression “at loggerheads”): quarrelsome
lollygag: to meander, delay
loquacious: talkative
louche: disreputable
lugubrious: mournful, dismal
malarkey (also malarky): nonsense
maleficence: evil
mendacious: deceptive
oaf: clumsy or stupid person
obfuscate: confuse, obscure
obloquy: condemning or abusive language, or the state of being subject to such
obsequious: flattering
orotund: sonorous, or pompous
osculate: to kiss
paroxysm: convulsion or outburst
peccadillo: minor offense
periwinkle: light purplish blue; creeping plant; aquatic snail
perspicacious: astute
pettifogger: quibbler; disreputable lawyer
poltroon: cowardly, coward
prognosticate: to predict
pusillanimous: cowardly
raffish: vulgar
ragamuffin: dirty, disheveled person
rambunctious: unruly
resplendent: brilliantly glowing
ribaldry: crude or coarse behavior
rigmarole (also rigamarole): confused talk; complicated procedure
ruckus: disturbance
scalawag: scamp
scofflaw: lawbreaker
shenanigans: tricks or mischief
skedaddle: flee
skulduggery: devious behavior
spiffy: stylish
squelch: to suppress or silence; act of silencing; sucking sound
subterfuge: deception, or deceptive ploy
supercilious: haughty
swashbuckler: cocky adventurer; story about the same
sylph: lithe woman
tatterdemalion: raggedly dressed person; looking disreputable or decayed
termagant: shrewish woman
whirligig: whirling toy; merry-go-round; dizzying course of events
widdershins (also withershins): counterclockwise, contrary
willy-nilly: by force, haphazardly

11 comments:

Roxann Delaney said...

Use them? I can't even pronounce some of them. LOL

What fun, though!

Pat Davids said...

Rox,
I agree, the words are fun. I spent way too much time trying to think of ways to use them.
Pat

Penny Rader said...

I've been fighting a migraine all day, so this won't be my best work, but I'll play:

Said the tatterdemalion to the flabbergasted and flummoxed flibbertrigibbet, "Hey, baby, ya won't caterwaul and skedaddle or raise a ruckus and kerfluffle that lands this loquacious ol' bindle stiff in the hoosegow if'n I finagle to osculate you 'cause I'm mighty concupiscent and ya sure are callypygian, resplendedent, and downright spiffy in that bodacious periwinkle foofaraw."

Pat Davids said...

Penny,
I seriously doubt anyone will top that. My hat is off to you.

Joan Vincent said...

So many words and so little time. Love the list. Wish callipygian described me. In another time and another age which is what certain of these words belong in. Cattywampus meant at an odd angle or to look at something with an odd view in my childhood. I always thought it was a great word. And I've always wanted a factotem!

Roxann Delaney said...

There are a few on the list that I know. Cattywampus was one my mom used often. Cantankerous could describe me on some days. Cockamamie, doohickey, and others have snuck into my vocabulary at times. I've even made up my own. Doomaflitchy is one. LOL

Penny Rader said...

Part 2 -- Her response:

Replied the supercilious harridan, "Why you cantankerous carbuncle-y oaf, you must be in cahoots with the raffish louche of a ragamuffin in lugubrious need of a haberdasher who tried to hoodwink this lil' sylph with the same hokum and high jinks as you, till I collapsed in a paroxysm of giggles, squelching his skulduggery, and the pusillanimous ignoramus absquatulated all higgledy-piggledy, shouting gobbledygook while the effluvium of borborygmus trailed behind the scalawaggy jackanapes.

Roxann Delaney said...

Penny, you make my head spin! :)

Melissa Robbins said...

There are some British words that always make me smile.

Cheeky, dodgy, knickers, chuffed, snog, and wizzo.

My capture word is werembox. :0)

Reese Mobley said...

That's quite a list, Pat. Hmmmm. Does it make me a weirdo that I've used a few of these words? (grin)

Nina Sipes said...

Someone’s been reading Shakespeare. Or not. ‘Tis his words I love him for. Penny, thou art a teasing wench. Amazing what you can do, and with a migraine. You've talent there.

Pat, where do you find such a group of words? I wonder what it says about me that I actually knew what so many were? EEEEKKK! But, I don't just want a factotum (which I didn't know what was), I want a Hop Sing. Yup, that little guy on Bonanza would even garden.