Funny words, cont.

Today’s funny word is, well, funny, although not as funny as lollygagging.  But then, lollygagging is the pinnacle of funniness as it pertains to words – at least in my world.

Legal mumbo jumbo!, pic: duplexchick.com

If you are in a critical mood today you could think of my introductory sentence as “mumbo jumbo” = today’s funny word.  It isn’t quite that bad because mumbo jumbo means confusing or meaningless speech, unintelligible or incomprehensible language, or gibberish (by itself a funny word).

What makes it not quite fit my introductory sentences is the fact that they, albeit mildly contrived, aren’t completely meaningless and secondly, that mumbo jumbo has a religious/ritualistic connotation.  The expression implies obscure rituals in the broadest sense.

Person1:  “You know, when I was 15 I was abducted by aliens, taken to their starship, and held hostage for 3 days.”

Person 2: “oh, come on now, what kind of mumbo jumbo is that?”

These days it is often used as a derogatory description in contexts like this:

Client to lawyer: “Spare me the legal mumbo jumbo and give me a straight answer.”

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