Wednesday’s Word (#26)

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Wednesday’s Word is a blog series dedicated to weird and/or fun to say words in the English language. Sometimes it’s relevant to what’s going on in my life but often it’s just a random word that I enjoy saying and feel should be used more often.

This week’s word is…

Discombobulate
/ˌdɪskəmˈbɒbjʊleɪt/
v. Disconcert or confuse someone (as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary)

I love this word, like others I’ve featured, because it sounds like it should mean more for some reason. It just sounds too long and important to merely mean “to confuse someone”. I challenge you to use this the next time you see someone who appears to be puzzled over something: “Gina, you look pretty discombobulated over there – everything ok?”

What’s also interesting is that there’s apparently no “combobulate” in the English language. So you can discombobulate someone but can’t combobulate them afterward to clarify the situation. It’s possible that an earlier generation of Americans played hooked on phonics with a word from another language, such as ‘scombussolato’ from Italian, to create this new word.


Are there any words you think I should feature in the future, either because they’re rarely used or interesting to say (or both)? Happy Wednesday!

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