A Word for 'Funny' That Doesn't Mean Something Else Too.

I was just recently thinking. All the words for “funny” or “comical” also mean, or started out meaning something else. “Funny” means fun(n)-y. In other words “full-of-fun”–not just comical per se. According to my dictionary, “comical” means related to a comedy. In Shakespeare’s time at least, a comedy was just a NON-tragedy, basically. Again, no humor even implied. “Humorous” relates to the 4 bodily humors, or fluids, doctors once believed the imbalance of caused all diseases. “Jovial” means related to Jupiter.

There. I have given all the words I know for funny. Does anyone know of one that doesn’t also mean something else?

Thank you all in advance for your replies:)


I’m unclear as to what you’re asking. Does “amusing” fit the bill? Or does that not qualify because it derives from the verb “to amuse”?

Droll; risible; rib-tickling.

You might have beat me with the punch, since this word just means “very funny” by itself. Actually though, I was thinking. “Hilarious” means “very funny”. Is there a word that just means “[average] funny” by itself. (Surely I am not the only person to see this strange fact [no word by itself, for funny].)

I thought I made my question clear:). A word for “funny” that doesn’t mean something else too.

I just looked up “droll” in my dictionary, and it says “amusing in and odd or wry way”. Good word. But it doesn’t mean “funny” in an average, simple sense.

“Rib-tickling” is good. But it is a compound word. I didn’t say this. But I am looking for a single word that means funny.

I just looked up “risible”. It means producing laughter. I’ll accept it! Now, I guess I will open the floor for other synonyms for “funny”. I still think there are far too few words that mean funny. What other words–and arguments for those words–do others have to offer:).

But no one uses “funny” to mean “full of fun”. If the criterion for exclusion is an etymology which historically been non-static, all words will disappoint.

“hilarious”, for example, essentially means “cheerful” in Greek; if “full of fun” is out, then surely this is as well? And yet “rib-tickling” counts? The one with the most obvious alternative literal interpretation? The rules of this game are quite hard to get a grasp of…



“humorous” was dealt with in the OP, and I imagine they will say “jocular” can be taken as “having to do with jokes”, which is not quite “funny”, per se.

“Amusing” once had something to do with inspiration from the muses, no?

See also “awful” and “artificial” from the same famous compliment that Elizabeth paid to Christoper Wren. Language changes, English as fast as the fastest.

You mean Queen Anne, I think, although I also think the story’s apocryphal.

Hilarious: extremely funny, from the Greek hilaros, for cheerful.

Hilarious: extremely funny. From the Greek, hilaros, meaning cheerful.

It depends what you mean by “funny”. Funny how? Funny like a clown, like it amuses you? No, no, I really want to know. What the fuck do you mean by “funny”?

Your post might just be a joke. But to answer, I mean “funny” like a joke, if that helps:).

So you want a word with no etymology which means funny and nothing else?

Here’s one:


I thought that was the point. The words have other meanings. Funny can mean weird (this steak tastes funny.) Humorous can mean “related to humor.”

The OP wants a word like Hilarious, which just means ha-ha funny.

I’d also say that risible doesn’t work, as I believe tickling can be considered risible, but that does not mean it’s funny.