Wordy Wednesday: Scurryfunge

I found this rather long and peculiar word on Stylist.com, and it’s something that I have personally done many times, and will continue to do so when needed.

That word is:


Scurryfunge is defined as the “hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbour and the time she knocks on the door.” (Stylist)

Now, I don’t know how many of you receive sudden visits from your neighbors, but the same could be applied to a friend who calls and says they’ll come visit in about ten minutes. If you’re anything like me, those ten minutes will be spent cleaning the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and closing all the bedroom doors. I think it’s because we like to promote a vision of cleanliness and control, but that could just be me.


It’s not really clear where Scurryfunge came from, but it may have been used as early as 1777.  It also seems to have a few different meanings, including “to lash tightly” or “to wriggle about,” but hasty cleaning is the most popular definition.

Using Scurryfunge in a sentence can be a challenge, but it all depends on the context. Some examples may include:

“She was Scurryfunging around, but it was too late. Mrs. Leeds was already knocking on the door.”

“I will not Scurryfunge to satisfy your peculiar taste, Mr. Madison. My house is just as clean as yours, and so it shall remain.”

“Madison’s vocabulary lesson was hard enough, but when she saw Scurryfunge on the list, she almost lost it. “It’s so unfair! Who even uses this word anymore?””

To learn more about this fabulous word, check out these sources: Stack ExchangeWords and Phrases from the PastEnglish Rules, and Pierwiastek Zła. The photo came from Here.

Have you used Scurryfunge in a sentence? Let me know in the comments below!


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