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What is one to say about June? The time of perfect young summer, the fulfilment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.

Gertrude Jekyll
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
Learn English in May

Monday Night Owls - 12 March 2018 - Silly sounding words

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,195 Teacher
We read an article which explained why there are lots of silly sounding words in British English:


Vocabulary Top 10:

barmy - crazy or foolish

balderdash - foolish words or ideas; nonsense

whimsical - unusual in a playful or amusing way : not serious

coinage - the act of creating a new word or phrase that other people begin to use

pervasiveness - existing in every part of something : spreading to all parts of something

willingness - quick to act or respond : doing something or ready to do something without being persuaded

fanciful - coming from the imagination; showing imagination : unusual and appealing

epoch - a period of time that is very important in history

cringe - to feel disgust or embarrassment and often to show this feeling by a movement of your face or body; to make a sudden movement from fear of being hit or hurt

gobsmacked - very surprised or shocked (US English - dumbstruck)

What was your favourite silly sounding word from the article? (check out the video in the article for some words with their definitions)
What other silly sounding words do you know?

Challenge: write a story using as many of these words as you can!


  • sam1sam1 Posts: 3
    When I try to explain the word "cringe", I feel like I'm talking balderdash..
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,195 Teacher
    That's exactly how I felt when I was explaining it too, @sam1 !
  • MohamedgamalMohamedgamal Posts: 21 Inactive
    The French Revolutionary Epoch was the best example of the pervasiveness of anger , The Politicians were gobsmacked when the citizens were willing for the change ,with fanciful ideas
  • MohamedgamalMohamedgamal Posts: 21 Inactive
    Yes I know a lot of words from movies and series ,but I’m not sure that I can share it smile: ,i heard this word “shmacked” recently but I think it’s American
  • malaamalaa Posts: 4
    Amy: Hey, let's play a whimsical game in which we create barmy names for our subjects in school, what do you think?

    Tom: That sounds a little balderdash, but I like these fanciful ideas!
  • elhattabfethielhattabfethi Posts: 53 ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Dear @NatashaT

    How can I join your Group Please.
    Thansk a lot.
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,886 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    At first, I think you should download the app, Discord. Then, ask Lynne to add you to the group (send her a private message). Good luck!
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    What other silly sounding words do you know?
    When I first heard this word "fakakta" I wasn't sure that I heard it right. but after I search It exists so it might be on my silly sounding words :D

    fakakta: a word used to describe something that is not working well or is really crap
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No, I couldn't, really: I couldn't have swallowed the story of the guy who has swallowed a cod, hadn't I attended the scene of it first hand: still it sounds a codswallop.

    What kind of wazzock would do it ? Let alone that in the majority of cases you suddenly would be choked to death even if it were just a piece of it.

    what a sticky wicket to get sight of the man rolling and writhing on the floor, trying to clear his throat.

    He ought to have been taught, when still a child, that you have to take your time, patiently and carefully chew any chunk of food you bring up to your mouth.

    That's especially true, if the food being talked is tasty and appetizing as well: cod in question most likely was.

    Then, what if the man had be presented, instead, with such dishes as dead man's arm and toad in the hole ?

    Well, in this case, I suppose, just a toad-eater would have praised the cook, while dissimulating his disgust by grinning and bearing it.

    Just hope the cod hasn't settled around his waist though; if the situation was to go pearshaped, in fact, the man would turn out hopelessly pearshaped.

    Maybe if someone had done it to gazump him to the cod, at the restaurant, he wouldn't now be cringing and snorting at the missed snog.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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