11 Adorable Made Up Words

A few years ago one of my mates was telling me a story and she said that she was ‘scrampling‘ for something and I was like ‘What the hell does scrampling mean?‘. Turns out it was one of those weird made up words that only means something to her family. It means to pat around on shelves in the dark looking for something. It really is the perfect word. It’s practically onomatopoeia. I recently had a chat to some friends of mine about the made up words that we use in our homes and it was such an hilarious discussion I thought it would be awesome to swap made up family words with my readers. Here are mine.

11 Adorable Made Up Words


A wooze is basically a nap.I feel so refreshed after my afternoon wooze.’ You can also be ‘woozy’ and be ‘woozing’.

Origin: unknown.


Any word that you can’t remember.Mum can you get the rizzle out of the cutlery drawer?‘ It’s usually helpful to accompany this word with an action that represents the item that you’re after. Like a stirring action for the word ‘spoon’.

Origin: unknown.


A term of endearment used between two female friends in a text.Hey Weertie Pie! Want me to make a cake for dessert tonight?‘.

Origin: I was texting my bestie and my phone auto corrected ‘sweetie’ to ‘weertie’ and it kind of stuck.


Underwear.I’m out of clean grundies, I’ll have to do some washing.

Origin: Unknown.


Your bum.I fell over and now I have a massive bruise on my de Botton!‘ This one is heaps more effective if you say it in a French accent.

Origin: Mr Smaggle liked saying the name ‘Alain de Botton’ in a posh French accent and then ‘de Botton’ just became what we called our bums. For no real reason at all.


Something gross.Ewwww… the garbage bag split and the bottom of the bin is all gunkan.’

Origin: On a trip to New York we found a sushi bar that had ‘All you can eat gunkan‘. Once inside we ate a piece of yucky fishy fish and dubbed it ‘gunkanso it ended up meaning something gross.


The most devastated you can be.How devastated was she? Devastated devastated or laundromat devastated?

Origin: My friend had just ended a long term relationship and she was acting a little whacky and insisted on going to the laundromat to wash all her clothes while drinking copious amounts of wine and hysterically sobbing at regular intervals. So now when someone is upset it’s on a scale of Sad to Laundromat Devastated. Laundromat Devastated is the most sad.


A bit cranky.Argh! I’ve got the jib jibs.‘ or ‘I’m feeling all jibbly.

Origin: Unknown.


Term of endearment usually used between a romantically involved couple.Hey chew, date night tonight? Movies?

Origin: Unknown.


Teeth or toes. ‘I just have to brush my tibbles and then we can go.’ or ‘Can you grab me some socks? My tibbles are freezing!’

Origin: Unknown.


A place that really stinks. ‘Whoa! It stinks in here! I think King Boo built his poo castle here.’

Origin: Hazy. The King Boo we’re referring to is from Mario Kart but we have no idea where the Poo Castle came from.

Do you have any made up words in your regular vocabulary?

I love hearing the weird things that people say in private. Do share!

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. KT 2 years ago

    Ooh, I know the origin of “grundies”! It’s rhyming slang: undies = Reg Grundys. (Reg Grundy is an Aussie TV producer/entrepreneur. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reg_Grundy)

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      You are brilliant! I’ve been saying forever and couldn’t figure out why!

  2. Tara 2 years ago

    We ‘squirk’ our cat. It’s when you pat her when she’s asleep and she makes a little purr/ meow. It’s so cute that we took it in turns to squirk her. Then it became ‘can you please squirk the cat as you go past?’ In a similar vein, if the cat came inside after (obviously rooting around in a grubby spot then she would be ‘grubbly’ or ‘covered in grubble’ – usually cobwebs and dust bunnies etc. this one has now transferred into use for humans so if you have, for example, been sitting on the ground or something then you may have a grubbly bottom or have grubble on your pants. Sophisticated, we are now.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Holy shit we say grubbly too! But for us it means you’ve got an upset tummy. Like ‘My belly feels all grubbly.’ Gosh humans are weird aren’t they? I love how many of the weird words relate to animals.

  3. Nessbow 2 years ago

    I can’t stop laughing at this. I actually wrote a post a while ago called The Nessbow Dictionary that was a collection of my favourite made-up words and phrases.


    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Awesome! I totally say ‘bajingo’ too.

  4. Aprilahh 2 years ago

    Bahaha! It’s so dumb but I totally have some of these.

    “F**ky-dum-dum”: something we use to describe when you come across bad English (Engrish) or misspeak your words – it comes from when we found a tag on something which had ridiculous instructions “Do not iron clothes while wearing” “Please wash your bottom” and so on; my mum coined it out of nowhere and we still use it.

    “Choot (like ‘put’ or ‘soot’): when the dog does one of those little breathing out snorts on your hand or leg as it goes past. It’s another delicious onomatopoeic one.

    “Hang the dockers in”: a misspeak that pre-dates “f**cky-dum-dum” so when mum asks if you gave someone something and she can’t think what she’s actually asking she says “Did you hang the dockers in?” Comes from when she tried to ask if I handed in the dockets for one of those school collect-a-thingies.

    “20x amusement”: when something is super funny. I tried to express how hilarious something was and that was what I came up with.

    “Suazé” (swah-zayy): Someone trying to explain in a sarcastic way how suave someone was (in the way that they weren’t, at all). “That guy in the fedora a pleather jacket is so suazé.” SAID NO ONE EVER.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Yes. These are all awesome. A lot of the weird things that families say come from the mum mixing up her words. My mum once said ‘Finished your bath and hop in a banana.’

    • Tahlia Meredith 2 years ago

      Hehehe I’m stealing f**cky dum dum, that’s gold!

  5. Victoria Devine 2 years ago

    auto correct change woohoo into zonino when I was texting three close girlfriends, so now we all just say that when good stuff happens.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Ha! That’s the best! So it’s like ‘Zonino! Party time!’?

    • Ali 2 years ago

      my mum and I say zonino too! I believe it was an old Nokia predictive text thing.

      • Victoria Devine 2 years ago

        YES!!! hahaha, I love that someone else in the world uses this too!

  6. I just want to sit under a tree and blather with you all afternoon!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Oh blather! Yes! I sometimes say blather.

  7. Marie 2 years ago

    I’m German, so my made up words are all in German. But maybe you’ll still laugh about the one about poo : ) One evening I came from work veery hungry so I needed to cook (= kochen) right away. But I also reaaally needed to take a shit (= kacken). So when my boyfriend wanted to give me a welcome home hug and ask if I could do xyz I could just cry out: “No, I still have to kachen.” (smashing kochen+kacken together). Now that I read it, translating it really doesn’t work. Oh well, maybe another German reader can laugh about it : )
    Anyway, now 6 years later we still say “kachen” and think it’s sooo secret that we can use it in front of other people…

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      No that translated beautifully. I actually just snorted my coffee. 🙂

  8. Oh man, my family has so many of these that I’m still having to explain words to my boyfriend 2.5 years later!
    Our most commonly used ones include ‘Ralph’ which is used to describe a piece of food that falls off your plate (generally onto the floor) which apparently started off due to a book called ‘Runaway Ralph’, and ‘Ali Baba’ which we use in place of ‘let’s go’ thanks to my mum mishearing me say ‘on y va’ (lets go in French) many years back.
    I could go on but then I’d probably be here all day (and take over your comments section!)

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      That’s so cute! Is the food called Ralph or is for Ralph?

      • Well it gets used both for the food “Oh no, there’s a Ralph!’ or as a verb “Oops, I Ralphed on the floor”. Yeah, we’re special.

  9. Rachel Pierce 2 years ago

    The one that I use most often is chitch. It’s the useless stuff that you find at tourist shops that just turn into clutter once you get them home. Magnets, novelty lighters, shot glasses, if you don’t need it, it’s chitch. I think it’s from my grandma, but I don’t know the precise origin story.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Maybe cheap and kitsch? Chitch? Did I just break the code? I totally did didn’t I?

  10. Peta Venus 2 years ago

    In our family we say “I do “for icecream as when we were little mum would say “Who wants icecream?”and we would say I DO. We also call pasta “doo-dahs”as mum always sang Camptown Races when she was cooking it. You know the song? Doo-dah Doo-dah? I also call hundreds and thousand”snowies”. My kids now call them snowies as well.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      These are so cute. Why snowies? Is it like snow on a mountain top?

  11. cilosophy.blogspot.com 2 years ago

    My partner calls me plopkin. Half pumpkin and half puppy.
    I use thingamy and whatsy often.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Plopkin is adorable. Love it.

  12. carohutchison 2 years ago

    We use ‘gurk’ for vomiting, that onomatopoeia type word again, and ‘snoozle’ for a snooze.

    Also a ‘woofy nose’ is one that is cold like a dog, not smelly.

    I love all these family made up words, I have to be careful living in the US as an Aussie as some of my new friends think our family words are Australianisms!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Gurk is totally onomatopoeic! I once said ‘I’ve the got the shits!’ in New York and the whole table of Americans thought I had the runs.

  13. ag 2 years ago

    dooverlacky or doover – an object that you cant think of the name of. As in ‘can you pass me that blue dooverlacky?’ ‘i need that doover that opens the can’

  14. Mardi 2 years ago

    Bongelar – no idea of the origin but it’s a word to use in place of a word you can’t think of.
    Sticks – generic word for anything even vaguely long and skinny. Has now developed to be used for the battery life on iPhones and iPads because the battery symbol looks like a stick “how many sticks does your iPad have” “About 30 percentage sticks” and even further to the devices themselves and the charging of them “please put my stick on sticks”
    Monster’s bottom – something unpleasant. From a time I was trying to think of something really disgustingly rude to call my husband and I blurted out “you’re a monster,s bottom full of poo”
    Fart stick – generally a term of endearment.

    We spent some time on our honeymoon drawing pictures of some of these words. Fart stick still sticks in my mind 🙂

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I love Fart Stick. It’s definitely my new favourite. My friend has ‘piles’ like you have hunger piles and thirst piles. I never really understood it though. Like if you have a small pile of hunger are you hungry or not very hungry? Confusing.

      • Heather Lansdowne 2 years ago

        haha I remember that one, we used it all the time on our US trip. Pretty sure the bigger the pile, the hungrier you are. Which doesn’t make sense as hunger should really be more of a hole.

        I also used to say “I want it like this” motioning food going into my mouth and down into my stomach for when I was so hungry that I just wanted to bypass eating and for the food to fill my tummy up. Also came to mean if you just really want to eat something delicious.

        And then my Dad says “I’m going for a zombie” which means he is going to look at the mall.

  15. Nicole 2 years ago

    Yeah, pretty sure Grundies is an Australian-wide thing.

    I can’t think of any words my family uses, but Anthony I have too many stupid things we’ve come up with over the years, I honestly couldn’t remember them all.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      I must be the bogan amongst my friends because hardly any of them have heard of ‘grundies’. 🙂

      • Nicole 2 years ago

        Haha yes, I come from a family of bogans. Though not quite as bad as the branch of my family who live in SA. And, I am the black sheep of my family ; )

  16. Jacqui 2 years ago

    Echinatia is a fave…….like “What the echinatia are you doing??”
    Munted – That thing is totally munted, You are being so munted.
    Goober (silly person) – You are such a goober…

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Oh some of my mates say ‘munted’ but they mean drunk. Like ‘I was soooo munted on Saturday night.’ I say goober too! 🙂

      • Jacqui 2 years ago

        Rabitats is also a funny one…..it gets used anywhere and means anything!! It was originally meant to mean rabbit habitats but changed 🙂

  17. Nellie 2 years ago

    Lady Smags I want to shake your proverbial hand. This post is pure gold. I love reading everyone’s contributions- such an insight into families. As for us, maybe one day you will write a posts bout people who sing rather than speak, and I will have much to contribute but in the meantime:
    Noo-Noos = noodles.
    Fajutsa= female nether regions (long story, probably not even close to appropriate)
    Pesching= carrying on between couples in a way that is alienating and irritating to all other family members ie “They just sat in the corner pesching… So annoying”.
    Diet Fonken=Diet Coke. No idea why.
    Schnookery=any delicious and thus likely unhealthy food. ie” Honey, can you get me some schnookery and a cup of tea?”

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Um… back the fuck up. We are seriously twins.
      Noo-Noo= My friend Nina. So like if I’m seeing her and her mate I’ll be like ‘I’m having dinner with Jane and Noo Noo.’
      Diet Fonkan is my new favourite thing. And Schnookery is brillliant. Mr Smags calls treats ‘sin’. Like ‘Let’s a bit of chocolate sin.’
      Also singing instead of speaking is on my vlog list… has been for ages. Must get around to doing that.

      • Nellie 2 years ago

        Then one day I will regale you with the time my husband and I had a fight. Singing. In opera. With swear words.

        • Author
          Smaggle 2 years ago

          I kind of want to film a reanactment of that.

    • Love schnookery! My family calls them ‘nnyums’, no idea how it started (other than they are yum obviously!) but it generally involves something miscellaneous from the bakery – whenever mum bought bread she’d ask if we wanted a nnyum (as if we were ever going to say no!) and then would come home with a scroll or finger bun or whatnot. We still use it now!

  18. Danielle 2 years ago

    There is a very special place on the internet for words like these:


  19. ninaribena 2 years ago

    “Povell” is my substitute swear word since having kids.
    “Oh povell, I forgot to buy milk”
    “Why are you being so povellicious today?”
    “Oh my povelling pants have shrunk!”
    “Homework again? That is so povellish”

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      HA! Love it! one of my mates used to say ‘Poverty house’ when things were a bit shit.

  20. Tahlia Meredith 2 years ago

    My sister and I say ‘zackery’ instead of exactly, and I’m sure there’s billions of others at my house but nothing springs to mind.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Ha! Zackery! So cute. We say ‘Penis butter’ instead of ‘Peanut butter’. We’re a bit gross.

  21. So I know I said I wouldn’t take over the comments but I just remembered my favourite weird thing my family says. No-one remembers how it started, but instead of saying Happy Birthday we say ‘Ah Potato’ – we change the words to the song and everything. Once my mum just sent me a photo of a potato instead of a birthday message. I have to be really careful at birthday gatherings with friends/at work not to sing ‘Ah Potato to you’….

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Is it in an Irish accent? I feel you guys say it in an Irish accent…

  22. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 2 years ago

    Adorable, you’re too adorable Smagglicious! In fact you’re Adorabubble 😉 I love made up words!

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Ha! Thank you! You’re such a little smash face! x

  23. Ali 2 years ago

    I think my favourite is the word my grandpa used to yell every time he walked into the house, which I have no idea how to spell (being made up and all) but it sounds like “guh-DIE-mah!” it basically means ‘hi, I’m home’. he thought it was Japanese. it’s not. but we still use it.
    ‘dinnerpointment’ is when you get all excited for dinner and it’s not as good as you were expecting (also applies to looking forward to leftovers then getting home to an empty fridge).
    more of a recipe name than a word, but nachitos is when you put nacho chips in your burrito (try it it’s awesome)
    also my husband has a ridiculous amount of names for the tv remote but ‘clickamajig’ is my favourite.


  1. […] post about it. (If you don’t give a crap about crochet here’s a post I wrote ages ago about adorable made up words so you can read that today instead). I started to crochet because I’m shit house at sitting still. I like to be constantly doing […]

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