The 5 best words to satisfy your need for power


This guy is happy and you should be too…

Are you one of those people who has a word of the day? Maybe you’ve got a special calendar. One that teaches you weird, dead words that no one will ever use. It’s a power thing I think – we can make people bow to our superior vocabularies.

The problem with learning 365 new words though is that you’ll probably be the only one who knows them. Other people won’t understand you. So it’s about as useful as learning to speak velociraptor.

Which is fun but not useful. (Fact time: the velociraptor noises in Jurassic park were a beautiful symphony of goose hiss, horse breath and tortoise mating squeals.)

But what if we took control over our need to collect all these new words? What if a whole bunch of us just used 5 new words and really took them into our vocabulary? We’d get the power of new words without the isolation that brings.

Well, humour me for a bit and pretend you’ve totally signed up to this global vocabulary project. See how influential you are by trying to get your friends to accept these new words. The challenge is to do it in secret without them even knowing.

Here’s your list:

1. Omnishambles

This is a fantastic word and an easy one to start off with. You already know what it means really. It’s when a situation is completely mismanaged. One mistake after another adds up until your faced with a disaster that should have been completely avoidable.

2. Aborning

I have to say this ones a little stuffy but I love it anyway. It means ‘being born or produced’ so when the royal baby’s head appeared it was pretty clear that he was aborning. I like this one because it shifts your perspective. It also means you can say things like ‘The idea died aborning’ It never made it out of the production stage.

This one is a real challenge to get all your friends to accept and use regularly.

3. Bumfuzzle

This one sounds amazing – that’s why it’s here. I’m ingesting this into my vocabulary right now. It means the same as dumfound – to confuse/perplex. You might say “I find you very bumfuzzling.” or “Don’t be alarmed when I bumfuzzle you with a clever riddle.”

I also think it should be the new name for Buzzfeed. It just works better…


4. Peely-wally

I use this word a lot – so maybe that’s cheating a bit. But it’s fantastic. It’s more common in Scotland and it means off-colour or pale. You say it about someone who looks ill. You pronounce the wally bit to rhyme with alley (rather than like Where’s Wally). That makes it a lot more fun to say.

You need this word in your life. The best thing about being ill is that you get say “I’m feeling peely-wally today.”

5. Pumpazing

I couldn’t have a list of words without this one. It’s my favourite. It describes something that is trying really hard to be great but just misses the mark. You could say that the BBC series Atlantis was pumpazing. Amateur free runners are also pretty Pumpazing. They just film themselves stepping on and off low walls.

Pumpazing is derived from a game that really defines itself well.

So there’s your list and I hope you’re feeling powerful – like you’re ready to take on the world. My personal favourite is bumfuzzle.

If words could be friends, well that one be my BFF. We’d hang out all the time.