English has been blessed with contributions from hundreds of languages. Even if some of these languages are no longer spoken, they have given us some truly excellent words to say out loud. Below are ten of those words that you'll definitely want to say out loud.
Catawampus is a word derived from the phrase kitty-corner and can mean out of alignment or disordered. It’s been around for more than a century and may derive from the Scots word wampish, meaning to wriggle or twist. Have some fun and sound it out: kat-uh-wom-pus
Bumfuzzle means to confuse or perplex. This silly word found its birth in the Southern United States, and has been confusing and delighting speakers ever since.
Widdershins is a distinctly British word and, like catawampus, comes from Scotland. It means to turn counterclockwise; the opposite is deisul, or clockwise.
If you’ve ever been with a child who doesn’t want to go somewhere, you inherently understand this word. Lollygag means to idle and spend time aimlessly, often in the sense of wandering behind someone who’s trying to make progress.
Malarkey comes straight from 1920s gangster vocabulary, but it’s so much fun to say it deserves to be brought into the 21st century. Malarkey means meaningless nonsense, usually something foolish someone has said. It’s best said in the strongest New York accent if possible.
Pumpernickel is a dense, dark German bread. Fun to say, even more fun to eat!
Everyone knows someone who falls into this category. Nincompoop is essentially a more polite and refined way of calling someone an idiot, and has been around since the 17th century. It’s fun to say, but it’s a definite insult — so make sure to think before you say it to someone.
This words trips right off the tongue and for good reason. A soliloquy is a monologue said aloud to oneself, regardless of anyone who is listening. It’s most common in the theater; Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech is a famous soliloquy, said out loud while he is the only one on the stage.
Quagmire is a word that can mean two different things, both of which signify something unpleasant. A quagmire can be soft, boggy land where things can get stuck and sucked in, or it can refer to a tense and awkward situation. Both of them should be avoided if at all possible — but that doesn't mean you have to avoid saying the actual word.
A scalawag is a rake, a rascal, a trickster — someone who causes trouble, but in a mischievous rather than in a harmful way. Though the term originated during the post-Civil War era, it eventually found its way into pirate lingo. These days it tends to refer to children rather than adults.