Weirdest Words in the English Language


There are many hidden gems that can be found within a dictionary. – Photo by Merriam-Webster

There’s a lot of words in the English language. For example, “orange” or “tree”. But, although popular, those words simply aren’t as exciting as words like “sesquipedalian” or “aa”. Once you learn them, you can’t help but love them!


Definition: A sesquipedalian is a person who uses big words. Personally, this is my favorite word, because if you know what sesquipedalian means, you most likely are one. Not to mention that it sounds extremely impressive. If you put that on your resume, you’d probably be hired on the spot!

Sentence Example: Due to my knowledge of the words tmesis and exclave, I can assure you that I am a sesquipedalian.


Definition: Aa is the Hawaiian word for lava forming jagged rock. Coincidentally, you’d probably scream this word when you see it.

Sentence example: On my trip to Hawaii, I had a chance to see real aa–from a distance, of course. It was beautiful and breathtaking, yet terrifying.




Definition: Kakorrhaphiophobia is the fear of failure. Once you spend at least two hours learning how to pronounce this tricky word, you’ll be able to use it all sorts of ways!

Sentence example: I hope I do well on my test! I’m a self-diagnosed kakorrhaphiophobic.



Definition: A blackish soil popular in cool or temperate climates. Due to the specificity of this word, you might have to substitute it for regular “dirt” if you want to use it.

Sentence example: Chernozems are commonly used for livestock in the middle latitudes of both hemispheres.


Definition: Faithlessness, essentially.

Sentence example: My friend asked to meet me after school but never showed up! Her perfidy cost me ten minutes!


Definition: Having to do with the end of the end of summer.

Sentence example: I was so lazy today; I had a classic case of serotinal sadness.




Definition: This one is weird because not only does it start with a y, which is pretty unusual in the first place, it also is followed by not one but two constantans. It means “called” or “named” and it’s mostly used in old English.

Sentence example: Did you hear about the new girl? She’s yclept “Clarisse”.



Definition: Breaking a word into parts with another word.

Sentence example: Personally, “a-whole-nother” is my favorite tmesis.



Definition: A part of a country that is separated from the rest geographically.

Sentence Example: Llivia is technically part of Spain, but it’s in the middle of France; it’s an exclave I visited during my trip to France.


The list of weird English words far exceeds the list included in this article, and the English language gives us much to discover within it. What will you discover?