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Scrumdiddlyumptious

Scrumdiddlyumptious is a word with an interesting origin. We will look at the meaning of scrumdiddlyumptious, where the word comes from, some alternate spellings and some examples of its use in sentences.

Scrumdiddlyumptious means extremely delicious, tasty, or when referring to a person, attractive. The word scrumdiddlyumptious was popularized by the children’s author Roald Dahl in his book The BFG, published in 1982, when the BFG says, “Every human bean is diddly and different. Some is scrumdiddlyumptious and some is uckyslush.” While Dahl invented many words, he did not invent scrumdiddlyumptious. It can be found in the 1942 edition of The American Thesaurus of Slang. Scrumdiddlyumptious is a portmanteau, which is a word made by blending the sounds and meanings of several words  together. The words scrumptious and diddly were combined to make scrumdiddlyumptious. An alternate spelling sometimes seen is scrumdiddliumptious. The Oxford English Dictionary has recently added the word to their list. Interestingly, the dictionary has also recently published a book dedicated to Dahl’s use of language, the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.


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Examples

The BFG’s “scrumdiddlyumptious” may just have made it into the OED, but a Golden Ticket has long been a byword for any access-all-areas pass, while Willy Wonka is shorthand for any mercurial, mesmeric figure or creator of some barely believable breakthrough. (The Guardian)

It will be the place to be for chocoholics, as the family event will feature lots of scrumdiddlyumptious sweets and chocolate stalls, street food, face painting, children’s rides and competitions. (The Birmingham Mail)

But while the word delightfully evokes Dahl’s fictional worlds, he did not invent it. In 1942, in “The American Thesaurus of Slang,” Lester V. Berrey and Melvin Van den Bark included “scrumdiddliumptious” along with other silly words derived from “scrumptious” as synonyms for “delicious” or “excellent.” (The Wall Street Journal)

 

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