12 Weird English Words: Can You Guess Their Correct Meaning? 

 March 1, 2022

By  fredo21

When you’re learning English, it’s a great idea to always work on your vocabulary and acquire new and interesting vocabulary everyday.  Here in this article, let’s take a look at 12 weird English words and you’ll have to try to guess first what they mean before we give you the correct meaning and example usage!

1. Spoonerism

It means:

      a. An intentional or unintentional error in speech wherein sounds are switched between two words.

      b. Cuddling with a loved one in a very affectionate way.

      c. The way parents coddle their children beyond adulthood.

      d. A culture of mendicancy or what happens when a group of people rely too much on government dole-outs.

Click to see the correct answer

Spoonerism (SPOO-nuh-riz-em) is a word named after seemingly absent-minded English educator and clergyman William Archibald Spooner who was prone to mixing up his syllables and ended up sounding unintentionally humorous.

This guy (image via Genie.com)

To date, spoonerisms are either slips of the tongue or sometimes used as intentional play on words for comedic effect.

Here are some examples of spoonerisms: 

  • fart smeller (smart feller)
  • queer old dean (dear old queen)
  • belly jeans (jelly beans)

Now let’s use spoonerism in an example conversation:

Bob: “Shucking fit!”

Karen: “Do you always use spoonerisms when you swear?”

Bob: “Yeah, all the tamn dime.”

2. Flapdoodle

It is....

      a. The bark of an aging tree.

      b. A type of dog breed popular in Ireland.

      c. Nonsense.

      d. A kind of waffle made from wheat and flax seeds. Usually eaten in the midwest.

Click to see the correct answer

Yep, flapdoodle [flapˌdo͞odl] is just nonsense or someone who is prone to writing or saying nonsense. The word has been used as early as the 1800s and still appears in contemporary speech!

Here’s an example usage of the word:

The speech he gave is nothing but a bunch of flapdoodle. That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about!

3. Bamboozle

It means:

       a. To confuse someone

       b. A type of children’s play

      c. A lemony drink popularized by enterprising school kids

       d. To stumble into a touristy site by mistake

Click to see the correct answer

When you bamboozle [bamˈbo͞ozəl] someone, you trick or confound that person. This quirky-sounding word has recently found a resurgence in online memes, so watch out for that.

Here’s an example usage of the word:

I woke up from a long nap and my cousin bamboozled me into thinking that I had been on a coma for a month!

4. Kerfuffle

A kerfuffle is a...

       a. Breakfast food made from yoghurt

       b. A commotion or fuss due to a conflict

       c. An old-fashioned lady’s hat

       d. The side of the mountain that is often not hit directly by sunlight

Click to see the correct answer

A kerfuffle [kər-ˈfə-fəl] happens when there’s a disturbance caused by opposing views.

Example conversation using kerfuffle:

Sam:Did you see what the kerfuffle was all about?
Andy: I have no idea. I slipped away as soon as it all started.

5. Rakehell

A rakehell is...

       a. an immoral person

       b. A nobody

       c. A large amount of falling leaves during autumn season

       d. A party attended by teenagers when their parents are out of town

Click to see the correct answer

A rakehell [RAYK-hel] is an immoral person.

This word appeared in the English language as early as the 1500s but it is still being used to this day. Let’s check out an example sentence.

The person accused of the crime is a notorious rakehell. It’s no wonder to his neighbors what trouble he got himself in.

6. Scaramouch


A scaramouch means....

       a. Thunderbolts and lightning

       b. Something very, very frightening

       c. A boastful coward, buffoon, or rascal

       d. A radio station

Click to see the correct answer

A scaramouch (or scaramouche) is from the Italian word scaramuccia, a clown character of the commedia dell'arte (comic theatrical arts of Italian literature).

Pronounced as [SKAR/SKER-uh-moosh/mooch/mouch], it is used in the English language to mean a boastful buffoon. It also became quite popular due to the Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Example sentence:

This election season is fun in the sense that we see a parade of scaramouches begging for votes everyday.

7. Shenanigans

       a. A gang of wild kids

       b. Transactions between two lawyers

       c. The end part of the pier where birds and fishes meet

       d. Mischievous or questionable activities

Click to see the correct answer

The word shenanigans [SHəˈnanəɡənz] is quite fun to say, right? But it could mean something silly and mischievous such as activities of young children or it could also mean something serious like unscrupulous or dishonest actions by adults.

Here's an example sentence.

“I see a lot of mud trails on the floor. I wonder what shenanigans  these children are up to now?”

8. Teetotal


       a. Total abstinence from alcoholic beverages

       b. To fall

       c. A broken glass or vase

       d. A car damage

Click to see the correct answer

Teetotal [tēˌtōdl] is another fun word to say, but its meaning is hardly fun! (now hand me that glass of wine, please!)

Here’s an example sentence:

“I’m choosing a teetotal lifestyle from now on. No more daiquiris for brunch or wine in the evenings.”

9. Hoodwink

       a. To wink with droopy, heavy-lidded eyes

       b. The back of a car in some small vehicles

       c. To deceive someone

       d. A person who is fun to be around

Click to see the correct answer

Hoodwink [ho͝odˌwiNGk] is a weird word indeed. It has got nothing to do with either a hood or a wink. Instead, it’s all about outwitting or fooling someone. Here’s an example sentence:

“That crook truly hoodwinked us all and made us believe he is a millionaire! He ended up getting our life savings!”

10. Bloodnoun

Which one is the correct meaning of a bloodnoun?

       a. A bullfrog

       b. A frightening dream

       c. A witch’s spell

       d. Words exchanged between lovers and promised on a full moon

Click to see the correct answer

A bloodnoun [BLUHD-naun] probably isn’t what you think it means, right? Turns out it’s just a heavy-bodied frog with a deep croak!

Here's an example conversation:

"What’s that weird noise?”

“Don’t worry, it’s just the bloodnoun looking for a mate.”

11. Hullabaloo

       a. A commotion, a fuss

       b. A type of hippo common in parts of the US

       c. A style of cape used by women

       d. Sad language used in poetry

Click to see the correct answer

A hullabaloo [hələbəˌlo͞o] is somewhat similar to a word we mentioned previously, kerfuffle. It's a commotion or a fuss.


I made a small comment on Facebook and suddenly it blew up out of proportion. I don’t understand what the hullabaloo on my opinion was all about!

12. Booboisie


       a. An unfiltered noise

       b. A sharp, sudden outcry

       c. A class of ignorant, uncultured people

       d. A group of baboons

Click to see the correct answer

From the word boob (a stupid person) and the French term bourgeoisie, booboisie [(boo-bwa-ZEE] refers to stupid or generally unrefined people when regarded as a class. Its use started in the 1920s and it is attributed to journalist and critic H. L. Mencken.


The artist’s profound idea apparently went way above the minds of the booboisie who are too uncultured to accept such sophisticated thoughts.


How many words were you able to guess correctly? Do share with us in the comments what you think! If you also have other favorite weird English words not on this list, let us know in the comments, too!


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