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Cultura Inglesa dezembro 2015 – Blog – Cultura Inglesa

Mês: dezembro 2015

Top 8 funny words in English

2 anos atrás ----- Top 5

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haha road london

bumfuzzle
Definition:
Confuse; perplex; fluster

Example:
“Irish can bumfuzzle any team” – headline about the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” football team,Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2002

About the Word:
Bumfuzzle may have begun as dumfound, which was then altered first intodumfoozle and then into bumfoozle. Dumfound (or dumbfound) remains a common word today, but bumfuzzle unfortunately is extremely rare

 

carfuffle

Definition:
A commotion, disorder or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.

Example:
“The most interesting thing about Susan Rice has been the kerfuffle over her move to become secretary of state” –

About the Word:
From Scottish “curfuffle”, “carfuffle”, from Scottish Gaelic car twist, turn + fuffle to disarrange

 

tardiddle

Definition:
1) a fib; 2) pretentious nonsense

Exemple:
“‘We haven’t got time to listen to more taradiddles, I’m afraid, Dumbledore.'” — Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling, 2004

About the Word:
There is a myth that taradiddle was born in the town of Taradiddle, Ireland; that itself is a taradiddle, because there is no such town.

We don’t know where taradiddle (also spelled tarradiddle) comes from, but we do know that the word has been a favorite of writers ranging from Balzac to Trollope to G. K. Chesterton. Lyricist W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) used it in two operas.

 

snickersnee

Definition:
1) archaic: to engage in cut-and-thrust fighting with knives; 2) a large knife

Example:
“Oh, never shall I / Forget the cry, / Or the shriek that shrieked he, / As I gnashed my teeth, / When from its sheath / I drew my snickersnee!” —The Mikado by W. S. Gilbert

About the Word:
Snickersnee comes from the Dutch phrase steken of snijden, “to thrust or cut.” Over time, snick and snee, snick-or-snee, and snickersnee followed.

 

Widdershins

Definition:
in a left-handed or contrary direction; counterclockwise

Example:
“And the waves beat upon the one hand, and upon the other the dead leaves ran; and the clouds raced in the sky, and the gulls flew widdershins.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, The Song of the Morrow, 1896

About the Word:
English speakers got widdershins from an old German word meaning “to go against,” and by the mid-1500s we were using the word as we use it today – as a synonym for counterclockwise.

For the first 200 years of the word’s life, however, it had another meaning as well – it was used to describe that particular kind of bad hair day when unruly hair stands on end or simply falls the wrong way.

 

collywobble

Definition:
pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache

Example:
“… unfortunately I awoke this morning with collywobbles, and had to take a small dose of laudanum with the usual consequences of dry throat, intoxicated legs, partial madness and total imbecility…” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Vailima Letters, 1890-1894

About the Word:
Etymologist believe that collywobbles most likely has its origin in cholera morbus, the Latin term for the disease cholera (the symptoms of which include severe gastrointestinal disturbance).

How would cholera morbus have shifted into collywobbles? By folk etymology – a process in which speakers make an unfamiliar term sound more familiar. In this case, the transformation was probably influenced by the words colic and wobble.

 

cattywampus

Definition:
dialect : askew, awry, kitty-corner

Example:
“The points … where [the two grids] would meet became Broadway and Colfax Ave. which is why to this day downtown Denver sits catty-wampus to the rest of the city.” – Francis J. Pierson and Dennis J. Gallagher, Getting to Know Denver: Five Fabulous Walking Tours, 2006

About the Word:
Long ago English gamblers called the four-dotted side of a die cater (from the French quatre, “four”). The placement of those four dots suggested two diagonal lines, which is likely how cater came to mean (dialectally, anyway) “to place, move, or cut across diagonally.”

Catercorner (later kitty-corner) and caterwampus –and eventuallycattywampus –followed.

 

haha

Definition:
a ditch with a wall on its inner side below ground level, forming a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view.

Example:
“A recent use of a ha-ha is at the Washington Monument to minimize the visual impact of security measures” – Wikipedia.

About the word:
The name “ha-ha” derives from the unexpected (i.e., amusing) moment of discovery when, on approach, the vertical drop suddenly becomes visible.

Source: Merriam-Webster, Wikipedia, Oxford Dictionaries