Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Can Smell Funny Too

funny word of the day: flounder

Flounder is not my favorite fish because of its very fishiness but if prepared correctly, it can be quite tasty. And if it's freshly caught, even better.

As you can see at right, it's also a funny-looking fish.

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Inflected Form(s):
plural flounder or flounders
Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian flundra flounder
15th century
: flatfish ; especially : a marine fish of either of two families (Pleuronectidae and Bothidae) that include important food fishes

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sounds Like It Smells Bad But It (Usually) Doesn't

funny word of the day: pew
If you've ever been to church or temple, pews are actually not very funny; they're more uncomfortable.
Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Middle English pewe, from Middle French dialect (Picardy) puie balustrade, from Latin podia, plural of podium parapet, podium, from Greek podion base, diminutive of pod-, pous foot — more at foot
14th century
1 : a compartment in the auditorium of a church providing seats for several persons 2 : one of the benches with backs and sometimes doors fixed in rows in a church

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm Befuddled That I Forgot to Post a FWOTD Yesterday!

I somehow got too busy yesterday to put a FWOTD on Twitter and Facebook but, rest assured, I'm going to make up for it by posting two today.

Yesterday's funny word of the day: befuddled

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

\bi-ˈfə-dəl, bē-\
transitive verb
1 : to muddle or stupefy with or as if with drink 2 : confuse, perplex
— be·fud·dle·ment \-mənt\ noun

Today's funny word of the day: scuttlebutt

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

alteration of scuttled butt butt with a hole cut into it
circa 1805
1 a: a cask on shipboard to contain freshwater for a day's use b: a drinking fountain on a ship or at a naval or marine installation 2: rumor, gossip

Evidently, there's also microbrewery in Washington State called Scuttlebutt. I've never tasted it but it's supposed to be pretty good. If you live in WA or plan to pass through the town of Everett, here's more info on Scuttlebutt: http://www.scuttlebuttbrewing.com/ According to the website, they have at least 8 beers on tap at their pub and offer a "Hoppy Hour" (their phrase, not mine) from 2-6pm Mon-Thurs. Sounds fun!

Friday, June 26, 2009

In Memory of Michael Jackson

funny word of the day: rhinoplasty

According to MedicineNet.com, rhinoplasty is plastic surgery on the nose, known familiarly as a nose job.

Because of the crazy work he had done on his proboscis (ooh, another good word!) over the years, this FWOTD is a tribute of sorts to the late Michael Jackson. I, for one, will continue to listen to his amazing music and will greatly miss his dancing, but, alas, not his weird nose.

Growing up in Livingston, New Jersey, rhinoplasty was a common occurrence amongst my high school classmates. I never underwent it (my nose is not my biggest body part--or issue) but lots of my friends did. I remember my mother tsk-tsking them, saying "Oh, that nose gave her character!" and "Her poor kids are going to wonder where their big noses came from." I would respond, "I'm sure they'll let their kids get nose jobs too."

I still think Michael Jackson should have left his nose--and skin--alone but the man obviously had major body image issues. RIP, Michael.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

China: Home of the World's #1 Beer Guzzlers

funny word of the day: guzzler

Definition from Merriam-Webster (for guzzle, close enough):

Inflected Form(s):
guz·zled; guz·zling \ˈgəz-liŋ, ˈgə-zə-\
origin unknown
intransitive verb : to drink especially liquor greedily, continually, or habitually transitive verb 1 : to drink greedily or habitually 2 : consume, use up
— guz·zler \ˈgəz-lər, ˈgə-zə-\ noun
Pictured right is a Chinese woman shows off her prowess during a beer drinking contest at a park in Hefei, central China's Anhui province, 21 October 2006. The Chinese are toasting their economic growth with beer as the country surpassed the United States as the world's top beer guzzler. That's a lot of Tsingtao!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A New Funny Sentence of the Day

Once again, courtesy of my friend Michael, who clearly has A LOT of time on his hands:

That cute little boy, the one I call muffin, is the fire of my loins, but his cheating ways and hanky panky shenanigans often leave me feeling bedraggled, like I've been dragged through the mud ya know.

Clowns Scare Me

funny word of the day: bozo

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Inflected Form(s):
plural bozos
origin unknown
: a foolish or incompetent person

The foolish, incompetent person who made this word famous was Bozo the Clown. According to Wikipedia, Bozo the Clown was a clown character very popular in the United States in the 1950s, as a result of widespread franchising in early television.

Bozo was created as a character in 1946 by Alan W. Livingston, who produced a children's storytelling record-album and illustrative read-along book set which Livingston called a "Record Reader", the first of its kind, titled Bozo at the Circus for Capitol Records. Pinto Colvig portrayed the character on this and subsequent Bozo read-along records. The albums were extremely popular and the character became a mascot for the record company and was later nicknamed "Bozo the Capitol Clown." Many non Bozo Capitol children's records had a "Bozo Approved" label on the jacket.

In 1949, Capitol and Livingston began setting up royalty arrangements with manufacturers and television stations for use of the Bozo character. KTTV-TV in Los Angeles began broadcasting the first show, Bozo's Circus, featuring Colvig as Bozo with his blue-and-red costume, oversized red hair and classic "whiteface" clown makeup on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

Personally, I am terrified of clowns and don't find them funny in the least!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

With All the Rain This Summer, I'm Feeling a Bit Bedraggled

funny word of the day: bedraggled

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

\bi-ˈdra-gəld; bē-\
1 : left wet and limp by or as if by rain 2 : soiled and stained by or as if by trailing in mud 3 : dilapidated

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quit Your Shenanigans

funny word of the day: shenanigans

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

origin unknown
1: a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose

2 a: tricky or questionable practices or conduct —usually used in plural b: high-spirited or mischievous activity —usually used in plural

Shenanigans also sounds like a good name for an Irish pub or a casual dining establishment (a la Houlihan's or Friday's). Evidently, there are several Irish pubs named Shenanigans where I suspect after several Guinnesses are downed, all sorts of shenanigans take place!

Really, It's Just a Cute Rat

funny word of the day: hamster

This was actually yesterday's FWOTD, inspired by Nippy, my nephew Ben's class hamster who was temporarily staying at my sister's house for the weekend. Nippy nearly escaped his hamster ball but luckily he was too fat to get anywhere very fast and we caught him and put him back in his cage.
Definition from Merriam-Webster:
German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin; akin to Old Russian choměstorŭ hamster, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan hamaēstar- oppressor
: any of a subfamily (Cricetinae) of small Old World rodents having very large cheek pouches
I have to admit, Nippy was kind of cute but I was raised in a pet-free household with a mother who thought any rodent -- hamster, gerbil, squirrel, mouse -- was basically just a rat in disguise so I'm not sure I'd want a pet hamster. If I had one, though, I'd name it Hammy or Cheeks. Nippy's good too but already taken!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quick, Gird Your Loins!

funny word of the day: loins

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Middle English loyne, from Anglo-French loigne, from Vulgar Latin *lumbea, from Latin lumbus; akin to Old English lendenu loins, Old Church Slavic lędviję
14th century
1 a: the part of a human being or quadruped on each side of the spinal column between the hipbone and the false ribs b: a cut of meat comprising this part of one or both sides of a carcass with the adjoining half of the vertebrae included but without the flank

2 plural a: the upper and lower abdominal regions and the region about the hips b (1): the pubic region (2): the reproductive organs

Evidently, there's a phrase, "Gird your loins," which has a few different meanings which I found on http://www.fluther.com/, including:

"To gird your loins during the Roman Era meant to draw-up and tie your lower garment between your legs as to increase your mobility and agility."

"The expression is Biblical in derivation, a traveler would raise his tunic up and fasten it up with his belt to free his movement and keep it from dragging in the dust."

"To gird is often used to mean prepare, make ready, or draw up strength, but literally it means to bind, tie, or surround. To gird your loins can mean to get ready for a rumble or to put on your underwear."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Top of the Muffin to Ya!

funny word of the day: muffin

From Wikipedia:

A muffin is a type of bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting. Savory varieties, such as cornbread muffins, also exist. They generally fit in the palm of an adult hand, and are intended to be consumed by an individual in a single sitting. Muffin can also refer to a different baked good: the smaller, disk-shaped English muffin, although this usage is uncommon outside of the Commonwealth of Nations. As American-style muffins are also sold in Commonwealth countries, the term muffin can refer to either product, with the context usually making clear which is meant.

There are many varieties and flavors of muffins made with a specific ingredient such as blueberries, chocolate chips, cucumbers, raspberry, cinnamon, pumpkin, date nut, lemon, banana, orange, peach, strawberry, boysenberry, almond, and carrot. These ingredients are then baked into the muffin. Muffins are often eaten for breakfast; alternatively, they may be served for tea or at other meals.

Another funny use of the word muffin is "muffin top," which according to http://www.urbandictionary.com/, is "A word coined by australian comidiennes Kath and Kim, meaning when a woman wears a pair of tight jeans that makes her flab spill out over the waistband, just like the top of a muffin sits over the edge of the paper case." This phrase proliferated once the age of low-cut jeans began in the early '00s.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Not as Good as Gold or Silver (or even Bronze)

funny word of the day: pewter

My friend Anthony, a producer on Good Morning America, was visiting my office yesterday and said this word when describing a pair of Converse sneakers he loved. Right then and there, I said, "I have to use 'pewter' tomorrow as a funny word."

It's one that most people don't use very often but it qualifies, especially when you say it while holding this ridiculous pewter stein in your hand.

From Wikipedia:

Pewter is a malleable metal alloy, traditionally between 85 and 99 percent tin, with the remainder commonly consisting of copper, antimony and lead. Copper and antimony act as hardeners while lead is common in the lower grades of pewter, which have a bluish tint. It has a low melting point, around 170–230 °C, depending on the exact mixture of metals.[1] The word pewter is probably a variation of the word spelter, a non-scientific name for zinc.[2]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yertle the Turtle

funny word of the day: turtle

Turtles are funny, especially the way they move their head in and out of their shells. Growing up, I liked the Dr. Seuss book "Yertle the Turtle" and still think Yertle is an awesomely funny name. If I ever get a turtle, I'm definitely naming it Yertle.

More info from Wikipedia:

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (the crown group of the superorder Chelonia), characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. "Turtle" may either refer to the Testudines as a whole, or to particular Testudines which make up a form taxon that is not monophyletic—see also sea turtle, terrapin, tortoise, and the discussion below.

The order Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. The earliest known turtles date from 215 million years ago,[1] making turtles one of the oldest reptile groups and a more ancient group than lizards and snakes. About 300 species are alive today, and some are highly endangered.

Like other reptiles, turtles are ectotherms—varying their internal temperature according to the ambient environment, commonly called cold-blooded. Like other amniotes (reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals), they breathe air and do not lay eggs underwater, although many species live in or around water. The largest turtles are aquatic.

Funny Sentence of the Day

Courtesy of my creative pal Michael, here is the latest funny sentence of the day, composed using recent funny words of the day:

We recently purchased a cute little gerbil and named her noodle. She LOVES gherkins, but hates the pickling juice so we use a shammy to dry them off and then she eats them with those nubbin-like fingers of hers. Thank God she doesn't like asparagus though. That would make her tinkle smell rancid.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


funny word of the day: shammy

Definition from freedictionary.com:

1. shammy - a soft suede leather formerly from the skin of the chamois antelope but now from sheepskin
chammy, chammy leather, chamois, chamois leather, shammy leather
leather - an animal skin made smooth and flexible by removing the hair and then tanning
wash leather - piece of chamois used for cleaning and polishing

The most famous shammy, of course, is the Sham-Wow, hawked via late-night infomercials. According to its pitch man, Vince Shlomi, "It's like a chamois, a towel, a sponge...you'll say WOW every time." Shlomi was arrested for assaulting a prostitute this March so I'm not sure how much I trust his word.
To make your own assessment, check out the official Sham-Wow website: https://www.shamwow.com/ver8/index.asp

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fancy Word for Pickle & Fancy Building

funny word of the day: gherkin
Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Dutch gurken, plural of gurk cucumber, ultimately from Middle Greek agouros
1 a: a small prickly fruit used for pickling ; also : a pickle made from this fruit b: the slender annual vine (Cucumis anguria) of the gourd family that bears gherkins 2: the immature fruit of the cucumber especially when used for pickling

Also, a very cool-looking building in London called The Gherkin, designed by famous architect Lord Norman Foster (who also designed the Hearst Tower, where I work).
I have to admit I enjoy both this innovative piece of architecture and the little pickles of the same name!

There's a Bosomy Gerbil in my Mulch!

I didn't have time to post this weekend so this is a 3-for-1 entry.

Sunday's funny word of the day: gerbil

From Wikipedia:

A Gerbil is a small mammal of the order Rodentia. Once known simply as "desert rats", the gerbil subfamily includes about 110 species of African, Indian, and Asian rodents, including sand rats and jirds, all of which are adapted to arid habitats. Most are primarily diurnal [1] (though some, including the common household pet, do exhibit crepuscular behavior), and almost all are omnivorous.

There is an exhaustive Wiki entry on gerbils but, interestingly, no mention of Richard Gere, which I'm sure he's happy about.

Saturday's funny word of the day: bosom

A personal favorite that doesn't really require a definition. Another word that is best described by other funny words, such as boobs, boobies, jugs, tatas, titties, etc. For some reason, though, bosom evokes a grandmother's uniboob, not a sexy pair of breasts.

Friday's funny word of the day: mulch

From Wikipedia:

In agriculture and gardening, mulch is a protective cover placed over the soil, primarily to modify the effects of the local climate.

I have what's known as a "black thumb" -- meaning anything I try to grow immediately dies -- but, while I have never used it myself, I like the word mulch very mulch, I mean much!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Funny but also a little bit gross?

funny word of the day: nubbin

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

perhaps diminutive of nub
1 : something (as an ear of Indian corn) that is small for its kind, stunted, undeveloped, or imperfect 2 : a small usually projecting part or bit 3 : nub

Okay, so there's this weird website, http://www.nubbin.com/, that has nothing on it but a galloping green nubbin-like animated creature. It's so bizarre, I love it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Great Noodle Protector

funny word of the day: noodle

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈnü-dəl\ Function: noun Etymology: perhaps alteration of noddle Date: 1753 1 : a stupid person : simpleton 2 : head, noggin

Function: noun Etymology: German Nudel
Date: 1779
: a food paste made usually with egg and shaped typically in ribbon form

For those of you who lived under a gluten-free rock, here's more history of the noodle from Wikipedia:

A noodle is food made from unleavened dough that is cooked in a boiling liquid. Depending upon the type, noodles may be dried or refrigerated before cooking. The word noodle derives from the German Nudel (noodle) and may be related to the Latin word nodus (knot). In American English, noodle is a generic term for unleavened dough made from many different types of ingredients. Noodles exist in an abundance of shapes.

The first written account of noodles is from the East Han Dynasty between AD 25 and 220. In October 2005, the oldest noodles yet discovered were found at the Lajia site (Qijia culture) along the Yellow River in Qinghai, China. The 4,000-year-old noodles appear to have been made from foxtail millet and broomcorn millet.[1].[2]

I think the face protection contraption in the photo (right) is a ridiculously silly-looking but ingenious invention, particuarly for those in Asian countries who eat noodle-based dishes for nearly every meal. I don't know if it has an official name but you could call it a "Noodle Protector," which has a double meaning. It protects your noodle (meaning "head" or "noggin") from being lashed by noodles (meaning "pasta") and it makes you look like a noodle (meaning "stupid person" or "simpleton")!

Monday, June 8, 2009

What it sounds like when you pee?

Yesterday's (6/7/09) funny word of the day was tinkle, which growing up in my household meant "to pee."
My mom used to say "Who has to tinkle?" Evidently, she didn't make it up. The word really does mean to urinate. Hmmm.

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

tin·kle Pronunciation: \ˈtiŋ-kəl\ Function: verb Inflected Form(s): tin·kled; tin·kling \-k(ə-)liŋ\ Etymology: Middle English, frequentative of tinken to tinkle, of imitative origin Date: 15th century
intransitive verb
1: to make or emit a tinkle or a sound suggestive of a tinkle
transitive verb
1: to sound or make known (the time) by a tinkle
2 a: to cause to make a tinkle b: to produce by tinkling

Even funnier when they have ants in them

funny word of the day: pants

I also love to hate the word slacks but as I tweeted that as a FWOTD before starting my blog, I can't repeat it. As you'll see below, pants have some very funny synonyms, including pantaloons, knickers, trousers and britches.

More background from Wiktionary:

Etymology 1
Abbreviated form of pantaloons.

[edit] Noun
pants (plural)
(US, Canadian, Australian, plurale tantum) An outer garment worn by men and women that covers the body from the waist downwards, usually as far as the ankles; trousers.
(British, plurale tantum) An undergarment worn by men or women that covers the genitals and often the buttocks and the neighbouring parts of the body; underpants, knickers, panties, shorts.

[edit] Synonyms
(garment that covers the body from the waist downwards): breeks, britches, slacks, strides, trousers
(garment that covers the genitals): drawers, underpants, underwear
(for men) boxers, boxer shorts, BVD's, ginch, gitch, gonch, gotch, jockeys, jockey shorts, shorts, skivvies, undershorts
(for women) underpants, knickers, panties

[edit] Derived terms
all mouth and pants, all mouth and no pants
by the seat of one’s pants (drive by the seat of one’s pants, fly by the seat of one’s pants), seat-of-the-pants
have ants in one’s pants
scare, bore, beat, etc., the pants off
wear the pants
with one’s pants down

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Some Guys Like Them

funny word of the day: rump

Even though one of the definitions of rump is described my two of my past funny words, buttocks and hindquarters, I still like it.  Clearly, anything that means butt is under consideration for this blog because, let's admit it, butts in general are just funny.  But rump also means a piece of meat and if cooked correctly, a rump can be very delicious.

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Dan rumpe rump; akin to Middle High German rumph torso

1a: the upper rounded part of the hindquarters of a quadruped mammal b: buttocks c: the sacral or dorsal part of the posterior end of a bird 
2: a cut of meat (as beef) between the loin and round — see beef illustration 3: a small or inferior remnant or offshoot ; especially : a group (as a parliament) carrying on in the name of the original body after the departure or expulsion of a large number of its members

Friday, June 5, 2009

Who knew this word was about Firearms?

funny word of the day: ramrod

I always thought this word sounded funny and had some sort of sexual connotation (which it still does) but in actuality, it has to do with cleaning firearms...so it's a word that is likely used by men in both the NRA and NYC's Chelsea neighborhood.

1 : a rod for ramming home the charge in a muzzle-loading firearm 2 : a cleaning rod for small arms 3 : boss, overseer

Definition from UrbanDictionary.com:


verb: to ram a some sort of long, thin, fairly cylindrical object into some sort of opening or hole. can have sexual connotations (as in, this aforementioned "rod" is a "meatrod"), but can also be used to describe such actions as sharpening a pencil, connecting a plug, etc.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good Exfoliator Too!

funny word of the day: loofah

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

also luf·fa \ˈlü-fə\
New Latin luffa, from Arabic lūf
1: any of a genus (Luffa) of Old World tropical plants of the gourd family with large fruits ; also : its fruit2: a sponge consisting of the fibrous skeleton of the fruit of a loofah (especially Luffa aegyptiaca)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Word Has so Many Funny Synonyms

funny word of the day: numskull

Definition from Merriam-Webster:

or numb·skull \ˈnəm-ˌskəl\
numb + skull
1 : a thick or muddled head 2 : a dull or stupid person : dunce

You can substitute numskull for so many other funny words, i.e. dunce, nimrod, moron, blockhead, bonehead, nincompoop (a previously used funny word of the day), oaf, dipstick, buffoon, thickhead, dullard. Love it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Know Someone Who Played One Growing Up

funny word of the day: glockenspiel

Defintion from Merriam-Webster:

\ˈglä-kən-ˌspēl, -ˌshpēl\
German, from Glocke bell + Spiel play
circa 1834
: a percussion instrument consisting of a series of graduated metal bars tuned to the chromatic scale and played with two hammers

While it's not the funniest looking musical instrument -- that honor might go to the tuba, trombone, maracas or cymbals -- the name takes the cake. My friend Jeanne evidently played this as a child although I don't ever remember seeing her with one...and it's hard to hide.

I played a different percussion instrument -- a plastic egg filled with chicken feed (aka the poor man's maraca) -- in a band after college. The same friend who played the glockenspiel told me after seeing me perform live that I should learn to shake it a different way than up and down because it looked like a was giving a hand job. That was humiliating.

These two words together couldn't be less appetizing

Yesterday's funny word of the day: pupusa

I cheated a bit because I'm not sure this can truly be considered a word in the English language but as I was waiting in the endless line at Brooklyn's Red Hook ballfields to order up one of these Salvadoran specialties, it struck me how funny the word was. While it sounds funny (and, frankly, not very appetizing since it has the word pupu in it!), these savory corn cakes are absolutely delicious, especially with queso blanco and beans, served with pickled cabbage and hot sauce. Yum.

Definition from Wikipedia:

A pupusa (from Pipil pupusawa) is a thick, hand-made corn Biscuit-like flat bread (made using masa de maíz, a maize flour dough used in Latin American cuisine) that is stuffed with one or more of the following: cheese (queso) (usually a soft Salvadoran cheese called Quesillo), fried pork rind (chicharrón), squash (ayote), refried beans (frijoles refritos), or queso con loroco (loroco is a vine flower bud from Central America). There is also the pupusa revuelta with mixed ingredients, such as queso (cheese), frijoles (beans), [1], and chicharrón or bacon. Pupusas are similar to tortillas and especially to arepas.
To completely switch gears, Saturday's funny word of the day was gonads.
Definition from Dictionary.com:
–noun Anatomy.
a sex gland in which gametes are produced; an ovary or testis.
It's a scientific term but definitely a funny one.