Silly Saturday: Wonder Words

English is a marvelous and rich language.  Yet native speakers seldom pause to consider its weird vocabulary.  Coming from different countries and cultures and meandering the halls of history many English words now seem to have paradoxical definitions.  These are wonder words because they make you wonder [Here are some from his website.  If you love words, you will like this site]

Would some church music be considered organic?

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call a fireman a waterman?

Do undertakers actually undertake when it comes to fees for funerals?

Isn’t kidnapping normal in kindergartens?

Aren’t even small Catholic churches massive?

Are overjoyed people too happy?

Like the wheel, wasn’t the lazy Susan a revolutionary idea?

Would the ugly truth be called the lowdown lowdown?

If money doesn’t grow on trees, then why do banks have branches?

If you run errands, aren’t you a go-getter
Isn’t a good steak rarely well done?

Didn’t rearing children once have something to do with spanking their butts?

Isn’t it amazing that anyone can stand sitting?

Exactly what is so fast about quicksand?

How do you get off a non-stop flight?

Why do they call dwellings stuck together apartments?

If you are just kidding, isn’t that childish?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

How come people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Why are goods sent by ship called cargo and those sent by truck shipment?

Doesn’t it seem the opposite of ability should be nobility?

In a stadium, why do they call a place where you sit the stands?

Why does a tugboat mostly push things in the harbor?

Did you ever have a comb you couldn’t part with?

What does it mean when the odds are even against you?

Copyright© 2003-2012 by Jim Wegryn


[PHOTO: courtesy of]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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4 Responses to Silly Saturday: Wonder Words

  1. annette morgan says:

    Being friday during Lent, we had JUMBO SHRIMP for dinner last night. My husband and i were ALONE TOGETHER for the first time in ages. Since it was just the two of us, I used PLASTIC GLASSES. Today we will have HOT CHILLI. Love your blog, SERIOUSLY FUNNY at times!

  2. Paul Wharton says:

    I see I have been hoisted by my own petard (and I’m not talking about that Star Trek captain!)

  3. Donna Musgrave says:

    A few more for those who like the philosophy of ambiguity as well as the idiosyncrasies of the English language:

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

    If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we stil have monkeys and apes?

    I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where is the self-help section?” She explained that if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

    Is there another word for synonym?

    Why do they call it tourist season if we can’t shoot at them?

    If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

    Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

    One nice thing about egotists–they don’t talk about other people.

    How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?

    Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

    If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?

    If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

    What if there were no hypothetical questions?

    • Paul Wharton says:

      Aren’t words great! Thank you for your contribution.

      Your question about hypotheticalcquestions reminds me of several times when preaching I asked a rhetorical question and had people shout out answers.

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