Some Words Are Just Funny

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.

That quote has been ascribed to nineteenth-century actor Edmund Keene, and various other sources, but its truth is borne out by the many people who have tried to be funny and bombed.

A corollary is that humor writing is hard too. Making people laugh at words on a page may be one of the most daunting tasks a human can undertake—right behind parallel parking.

Fortunately, there are some words that make it easy. They sound funny all by themselves.

Here are a few of my favorites. What are yours?

  1. Snorkel
  2. Brouhaha
  3. Gherkin
  4. Diphthong
  5. Hornswoggle
  6. Bungee
  7. Hooligan
  8. Aardvark
  9. Platypus
  10. Kerfuffle
  11. Carbuncle
  12. Pollywog
  13. Boondoggle

The list grows.

And life is funnier because of it.


  1. Rutabega...says Leigh.

    I was going to say "snorkel" but it was already taken. I've always thought that snorkel sounds exactly like something you shouldn't do under water. But how about hubbub?

  2. Your post is causing a hubbub in my boondoggle, leaving me totally cattywampus.


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