The Most Rib-Tickling, Sidesplitting, Uproarious Words


The bracket in question. (Eddie Nickels)

Eddie Nickels, Reporter

What is the funniest word in the English language? Well, rather than just telling you, I have instead arbitrarily picked words and pitted them against each other in a bracket.

To start off with, cornobble—to strike someone in the head with a dead fish—faced off against a fearsome opponent, reconnoiterer—a person who does reconnaissance. After a long deliberation with my fellow colleagues, cornobble advances to the next round.

Nudiustertian, a word for the day before yesterday, faced the noise that bagpipes make, a skirl. As the far more obnoxious—albeit useful—word, nudiustertian proceeds. Next, a funambulist is a tightrope walker, while a winklepicker is a type of shoe. After much research, I discovered that winklepickers are, in fact, the most hideous shoe to have ever existed, and for that sole (pun absolutely intended) fact, funambulist advances to the next round.

A qualtagh is the first person you meet after leaving the house, unless you don’t leave the house. Then, I guess you don’t have many qualtaghs. This peculiar word went against a synonym for the bagpipes: a doodlesack. With my esteemed advisors, qualtagh reins supreme.

And as we all know, a quire is a twentieth of a ream of paper—that is, twenty five pieces. Unfortunately for this lovely and completely unnecessary word, it was paired against snickersnee, a large knife. Quire cannot possibly compare to the pure ridiculousness of its opponent. “Yes, Officer. The man was carrying a snickersnee.” “I was imprisoned for possession of a snickersnee.” Its absolute absurdity is what allows it to proceed to the next round.

Obelus is the surprisingly boring name for the division symbol in math. There’s no real fight, so its opponent erf—a ½ acre plot of land—automatically advances. Next, as one of my esteemed peers oh so eloquently explained, octothorpe—the official name for the pound sign—sounds like a sci-fi alien species. However, smicker—to look at someone amorously — just sounds funny. Smicker beats octothorpe and advances forward.

For the hardest one of them yet, fipple versus pronk. A fipple is the mouthpiece of a recorder, while a pronk is the leap antelopes make when they feel threatened. After much deliberation, pronk advances.

For the second round, it became quite easy to eliminate and advance. Cornobble beat nudiustertian, while qualtagh beat funambulist. Snickersnee obviously beat erf and pronk advanced over smicker. Getting down to our last four, cornobble was paired against qualtagh and snickersnee against pronk. After hours of consideration, qualtagh and snickersnee are left as our remaining competitors.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for, my dear friends and enemies, qualtagh v. snickersnee. On one hand, it would be awesome to say to someone: “You’re my qualtagh this morning!” But on the other hand: “The store was robbed by a man armed with a snickersnee.” After what felt like endless cogitation, the final winner is snickersnee.