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Strange words: Ballyhooly about falderal — but not complete balderdash

Posted by Wendy Wood on 22nd June , 2021 in Grammar
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My dad has always used strange words. Most of them are colloquialisms, but others are just words he thinks are fun. When our daughter was about nine, she even started a list of “Grandpa’s Silly Sayings”. I ran across a list of 100 Whimsical Words today and immediately thought of dad’s word choices. I’ve put together my own list I think he would find copacetic. And, if you have grandchildren yourself, maybe you’ll find a word or two that will impress the rug rats. Just don’t throw these words around willy-nilly.

alley-oop: an exclamation of encouragement, exhortation, etc., preceding some vigorous action or forceful effort
balderdash: idle, ill-informed talk; rubbish; a senseless jumble of words; nonsense
ballyhooly: commotion; noise
bamboozle: to deceive by trickery; impose upon; to perplex; mystify
brouhaha: an uproar; turmoil; a scuffle; disturbance
cahoots: phrase in cahoots, in partnership; in league
cattywampus: out of kilter; messed up
cockamamie: crazy; ridiculous; muddled
copacetic: extremely satisfactory; fine
do-hickey or doodad: any device or gadget, the name of which is unknown or temporarily forgotten
doozy: something especially remarkable, either good or bad
falderal: mere nonsense
finagle: to get (something) by guile or trickery; wangle
flibbertigibbet: a chattering or flighty person, usually a child
fuddy-duddy: a fussy, stuffy, or old-fashioned person
gallivant: to go from place to place in a rollicking, frivolous or flirtatious manner
gee whiz: an exclamation expressing surprise, admiration, etc.
hokey: sentimental; corny (NZ colloquialism is an expression of surprise; a mild oath)
hoopla: excitement; razzle-dazzle
hootenanny: an informal performance by folk singers, often with audience participation
itsy-bitsy or itty-bitty: small; insubstantial
jeez Louise: an exclamation of protest, exasperation, disappointment, etc.
la-di-da: affectedly pretentious, especially in manner, speech, or bearing
lolligag: to play around foolishly or aimlessly; waste time
lickety-split: at great speed; rapidly
malarkey: meaningless talk
nincompoop: a fool or simpleton
ragamuffin: a ragged, disreputable person; a ragged child
razzamatazz: noisy and showy activity
rigamarole: a long and complicated process
rug rat: a small child, especially one at the crawling stage
scallywag: (often used indulgently of children) a scamp; rascal
shenanigans: silly behaviour
skedaddle: to run away; disperse in flight
thingamabob or thingamajig: an indefinite name for a thing or person which a speaker cannot or does not wish to designate more precisely
upsadaisy or upsy-daisy: used to encourage or reassure a child when being lifted, climbing, or standing up
whirligig: something that whirls, revolves, or goes round
willy-nilly: in random order; in disarray
yahoo: a rough, coarse, or uncouth person

Wendy Wood


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