Nov 29, 2020
My Favourite Word: Discombobulated
Ah! My favourite word: discombobulated.
And possibly the perfect word to explain how we're feeling in 2020!
Discombobulate: To throw into a state of confusion; to befuddle (which is another excellent word) or perplex. As in: 2020's got me feelin' discombobulated.
The antonym, combobulate, meaning to compose one's self or to reverse the effect of discombobulation. For example: after losing the plot completely during lockdown, the online gift shop owner took a deep breath and attempted to combobulate herself.
Or, if you prefer, you can also recombobulate: that is to think clearly again; to reorient oneself; or to get oneself back into proper working order.
Discombobulated was also listed in the top 50 favourite words submitted by readers of the BBC news website. I love this description submitted by Sally from Auckland:
I like the word discombobulated. It has a staccato, mechanical sound and conjures up an image of a robot scrabbling to hold itself together when all its nuts and bolts suddenly start to fall out. Which is just how one feels when discombobulated!
According to the etymology entry in the Wiktionary, Discombobulate is a fanciful variant for discompose or discomfit. It's supposedly a witty mock-latin word which was coined in the US in the 1830s.
Many of the fanciful words from that time are no longer in use, but Discombobulate remains, along with a number of other brilliant words such as: absquatulate, bloviate, hornswoggle, sockdolager and skedaddle. Other wonderful words such as blustrification, dumfungled and goshbustified, which sound like they belong in the wizarding world, or a Roald Dahl book, are sadly obsolete.
In celebration of the spectacular mess that is 2020 and my favourite word, I thought I'd design a t-shirt or two.
So if 2020's got you feelin' discombobulated too, you can now buy your limited edition 2020 t-shirt here.
Or if you feel like your discombobulation might spill over into 2021 and beyond, then the regular discombobulated t-shirt might be a better fit for you.
I'd love to find out your favourite funny words, so let me know in the comments below, and you never know, your favourite word might make it onto a t-shirt too.