Posted by: Jack Henry | March 3, 2020

Editor’s Corner: 30 Hilarious Words for Everyday Problems

Good morning! I found this article called “30 Hilarious Words for Everyday Problems” on the Best Life website. I’m committed to memorizing some of these. I love this kind of thing!

I think I’ve covered a few of these words in previous posts, but they’re funny enough to repeat. I’ll give you 15 today and you can look forward to the remaining 15 on Thursday. I challenge you to use at least one of these in conversation over the next few days.

  1. Collywobbles: Feeling a nervous fluttering in your stomach, enough that you want to stop whatever you’re doing and run away.

EXAMPLE: “I almost asked her out. But then I got the collywobbles.”

  1. Shivviness: An old Yorkshire word for that weird clingy feeling when you’re trying to break in a new pair of underwear. A “shive” is a loose thread in some clothing that won’t stop rubbing you the wrong way.

EXAMPLE: “Sorry I can’t sit still, but these new boxers are giving me the shivvies.”

  1. Croochie-proochles: What happens to your body when you’ve been sitting in the same cramped, uncomfortable position for too long. It’s kind of amazing how Scottish slang from the 18th century can perfectly describe the feeling of taking a nonstop flight from New York to LA.

EXAMPLE: “I was in the backseat for that whole road trip, with my knees up to my chin, and I still have the croochie-proochles.”

  1. Flapdoodle: Just read something that’s painfully untrue? It’s probably flapdoodle. It’s like fake news, but fancier. Used since the mid-19th century, it’s the less abusive way of saying, “You are full of it!”

EXAMPLE: “I wouldn’t believe anything he tells you. All he does is read flapdoodle.”

  1. Horror vacui: If you’re the kind of person who decorates your home by covering every square inch of wall space with something—artwork, pictures of friends and family, a mirror—because it drives you crazy when there’s any empty space at all, you’re suffering from a condition called horror vacui.

EXAMPLE: “Maybe we don’t cover that wall with a thousand paintings. I’m just saying, your horror vacui is starting to drive me batty.”

  1. Crapulence: The bloated feeling you get after eating way too much or drinking to excess. It has its origins in the Greek word crapula, for a hangover caused by overindulgence.

EXAMPLE: “The last time I ate a whole plate of nachos by myself, I was feeling like crapulence for a week.”

  1. Ishkabibble: A Yiddish word that first appeared in the U.S. during the early 20th century. It translated roughly as “I should worry?” It’s not an actual question, but a flippant response. You’re not concerned, despite whatever warnings you’ve been given.

EXAMPLE: “Oh, he thinks I should get a lawyer, does he? Ishkabibble!”

  1. Yule Hole: Gorged a bit too heavily over the holidays? You may be experiencing yule hole. That’s when you’ve reached the last hole on your belt buckle. We have the Scots to thank for this lovely reminder to go easy on the carbs in the New Year.

EXAMPLE: “I need to hit the gym. I overdid it during Christmas. I hit my yule hole.”

  1. Acrasia: When you know you shouldn’t be doing something but you do it anyway, you’re being acrasia. Pronounced “uh-KRAY-zee-yuh”, as in “You crazy, yah!” From a 19th-century Greek word meaning lack of strength or willpower.

EXAMPLE: “You’re still smoking? You’re acrasia!”

  1. Gobemouche: A naive or gullible person who is easily fooled. It’s derived from the French word gober (to swallow) and mouche (fly). So basically, a gobemouche is “fly-swallower,” somebody who’ll accept just about anything.

EXAMPLE: “I have this friend on Facebook who’s always posting stories about Bigfoot. He believes in it too. What a gobemouche!”

  1. Humdudgeon: When you just can’t summon the energy or enthusiasm to get to work. It originated in the 18th century to describe an imagined illness. You’re not really sick, you just don’t feel like showing up.

EXAMPLE: “I can’t make it to our meeting today. I’ve got a bad case of humdudgeon.”

  1. Coddiwomple: An old English word for not having any freaking idea where you’re heading. If you’ve ever driven around on a weekend with no destination in mind, you’ve been out coddiwompling.

EXAMPLE: “I’m not in the mood to go anywhere. Let’s just coddiwomple for a while.”

  1. Gwenders: It sounds like it has something to do with a girl named Gwen, but this is actually a term for the tingling sensation, or “pins and needles,” you can feel in your hands when they’re numb from too much cold.

EXAMPLE: “I need to buy some gloves. I get the gwenders every time I try to throw a snowball with bare hands.”

  1. Ninnyhammer: A less than intelligent person. Somebody prone to saying idiotic things. You’re probably Facebook friends with a few of ninnyhammers.

EXAMPLE: “As politicians go, he’s the biggest ninnyhammer of them all. And that’s saying something!”

  1. Sialoquent: Originating from the ancient Greek words sialon (“saliva”) and loqui (“speak”), it’s when somebody can’t speak without letting some spit fly.

EXAMPLE: “Hey, hey, hey, say it don’t spray it. You’re being sialoquent!”

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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