48 Weird and Strange English Words and Their Meanings

Ana Hernandez • May 22, 2024 • 4 min read
Weird English Words
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Our collection of 48 weird and strange English words will introduce you to some of the most bizarre terms you've never heard. These words are not just unique but come packed with fascinating histories and meanings that challenge the norm.

Prepare to twist your tongue and stretch your mind as we delve into the depths of English oddities. From words that sound like magical spells to terms that describe unbelievably specific situations, this list is your gateway to becoming a connoisseur of curious vocabulary. Whether for writing, conversation, or just the joy of learning, these strange words are sure to add flavor to your linguistic repertoire.

23 Weird English Words and Their Meanings

  • Petrichor - The pleasant, earthy smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

  • Defenestration - The act of throwing someone or something out of a window.

  • Callipygian - Having well-shaped buttocks.

  • Limerence - The state of being infatuated with someone.

  • Sesquipedalian - Characterized by long words; long-winded.

  • Phantasmagoria - A sequence of real or imaginary images like those seen in a dream.

  • Perspicacious - Having a ready insight into and understanding of things.

  • Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia - The fear of long words.

  • Psithurism - The sound of rustling leaves or wind through trees.

  • Apricity - The warmth of the sun in winter.

  • Clinomania - Excessive desire to stay in bed.

  • Sciolist - A person who pretends to be knowledgeable.

  • Snollygoster - A shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician.

  • Nemophilist - A lover of forests; someone who is fond of woods or forests.

  • Susurrus - Whispering, murmuring, or rustling.

  • Defenestrate - To throw someone or something out of a window.

  • Serein - Fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.

  • Xertz - To gulp down quickly and greedily.

  • Velleity - A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action.

  • Nudiustertian - Pertaining to the day before yesterday.

  • Hiraeth - A homesickness for a home you can't return to, or that never was.

  • Floccinaucinihilipilification - The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

  • Ultracrepidarian - Someone who gives opinions beyond their expertise.

17 Weird English Adjectives and Their Meanings

  • Quixotic - Exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical.

  • Mellifluous - Sweet or musical; pleasant to hear.

  • Ephemeral - Lasting for a very short time; transient.

  • Luminous - Emitting or reflecting light; shining.

  • Quotidian - Of or occurring every day; daily.

  • Pulchritudinous - Physically beautiful; comely.

  • Perspicacious - Having a ready insight into and understanding of things.

  • Quizzical - Showing mild or amused puzzlement.

  • Querulous - Complaining in a petulant or whining manner.

  • Lachrymose - Tearful or given to weeping.

  • Obstreperous - Noisy and difficult to control.

  • Surreptitious - Kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of.

  • Salubrious - Health-giving; healthy.

  • Incandescent - Emitting light as a result of being heated.

  • Melliferous - Producing or yielding honey.

  • Palimpsest - Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

  • Susurrant - Whispering, murmuring, or rustling.

8 Short English Words You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

  • Zarf - A holder, usually made of ornamental metal or plastic, for a hot coffee cup without a handle.

  • Zax - A tool used for cutting or trimming roofing slates.

  • Pyx - A container used to hold the consecrated bread or host in the Christian church.

  • Grig - A small, lively fish, especially a freshwater fish.

  • Ylem - In cosmology, the primordial matter from which the universe was formed.

  • Eft - A newt, especially a terrestrial or juvenile one.

  • Yowe - A female sheep or ewe.

  • Rime - Frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of water vapor in cloud or fog.

We've navigated through the nooks and crannies of the English language to discover 48 of its strangest and most intriguing words. With each term more peculiar than the last, your vocabulary is now richer and certainly more colorful. Keep these weird words handy for your next story, trivia night, or just to impress friends with your knowledge of English's lesser-known corners.