The most useless word in the Engligh language...

What are your nominations?

I’ll start the proceedings by throwing in akimbo. Feel free to challenge the word if you find a good use for it. :wink:

Basically - made useless by usage, I should add.

Most useful word (IMHO) has to be radius as it has no synonyms.

The winner, hands down: friendlily. This based on the fact that nobody uses it, and most people don’t even believe that it’s a word!

How abour “opinion”

I’d like to rescue akimbo from the abyss, if possible. There’s something about it when used in phrases such as ‘…and with her legs akimbo…’ which just doesn’t work (for me) with any other word.

I’ll second friendlily. Useless. Completely useless.

Legs Akimbo?

Wasn’t he a Nigerian gangster? :wink:

Um, I don’t think your legs can be akimbo, just your arms. (I’m willing to be corrected.)

I’d say antidisestablishmentarianism is pretty useless. It refers to a political movement that was counter to a different political movement in England that mostly died out in the 1700’s.


This act, as above, has appeared in several television shows in the UK over the years.

Their modus operandi is to dance, in formation of course, on stage wearing said balloons strategically placed in front of their Private Parts.

The number of balloons available for concealment is gradually reduced throughout the performance, via popping etc.

I always thought they were called Legs Akimbo, and I am wondering if anyone can confirm this.

In so saying, I am aware of a Welsh rock band who are also called Legs Akimbo. It’s not them.

You’re (pretty much) right, certainly about its original meaning. I checked Merriam-Webster and its main meaning is ‘having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward’. Mercifully (for me) it does have a secondary meaning (set in a bent position <a tailor sitting with legs akimbo>) which I’m using to try and salvage some small morsel of self-esteem.

That said, ignorance (mine) has been fought and - to some rather small extent, I’m afraid - banished.

(Nostradamus; have you seen BBC2’s The League of Gentlemen? They portrayed (Mark Gatiss?) as a sad old ex rocker trying to regain his lost youth by reforming his band of 20 years ago, ‘Legz Akimbo’).

Further to the OP, I heartily recommend a look inside the excellent work of reference Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words (Granada 1979) ISBN 0246111518 in paperback.

There are so many to choose from but nauscopy attracts the eye, meaning the alleged ability to spot land or ships at sea from far away.

Well, maybe not useless but certainly arcane.

Wasn’t there a villian on Freakazoid named Arms Akimbo? Walked around knocking things off shelves a lot.

My nomination: Practicable

Usage: “The end of the screw shall protrude from the nut at least one thread, and where praticable not more than five threads.”

You’d think that “where practical” would work, but no. This word annoys me to no end.

I love the programme Xerxes, and you are right about Mark Gatiss, but his band was called Creme Brulee I think.

Hangs head. You’re right. I think I’m going senile. That said, I know I’ve seen Legz (sic) Akimbo in relation to LofG.

I think I’ll go have a beer now.

The most useless word I’m aware of is “utilize.” It’s an exact synonym of “use.” There’s NO context in which the word “use” isn’t better, so there’s no reason to ever use the word “utilize.” Hell, I don’t even know if utilize is a legitimate word.

Tikitikitimbonosayrimbocharribarrirouchaypitberrypimbo wins to me hands down. It means ‘most honorable son’. Quite a mouthful for three words,I’d say.
pronunciation for Tikitikitimbonosayrimbocharribarrirouchaypitberrypimbo:
teeke-teeke-tim(as in the name)-bo-no-say-rim-bo-char-ay-bar-ay-rue-chay-pit-berry-pim-bo.

I thought the Nigerian Gangster was…

Ta-Tas Akimbo

‘Netherlandic’ for ‘Dutch’, when referring to the language.

…has fallen into the well?

I nominate aperçu. Whoo-yaa, cedilla and all. Granted, it’s really a French word that has crept into English usage, but hey. The only reason I can think of for anyone to use it (in English) is to show off. Which I’m not doing. Really. :wink:

How about kine, the plural of cow.

Also, pledget,or a little plug.