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The wonderfully weird language of Roald Dahl

Sep 2023

If we said to you "this swatchscollop tastes absolutely filthsome", would you know what we were talking about? Not unless you were fluent in Gobblefunk, a language made up by Roald Dahl in The BFG, but the joy of Dahl's words is that we can piece together the meaning from the sound and feel they give the reader. This is just one of the many reasons that children have found so much joy in his writing.   

We've listed our favourite fun Dahl language from The BFG below:

Gloriumptious: glorious and wonderful

When you can't quite find the right word to describe a great situation, "gloriumptious" should be your word of choice. It sounds like a combination of all the positive descriptive words in the dictionary rolled into one, and describes something wonderful, glorious and triumphant all at the same time!

Jumpsquiffling: something absolutely colossal

Think of the biggest thing you can. Now imagine something even bigger. What word would you use to describe it? "Jumpsquiffling" is perfect!

Trogglehumper: a frightful dream

If you've had a truly horrific nightmare, you might have had a "trogglehumper" - it's a wonderful word to describe those dreams where you jump awake and search the house, wide-eyed for the monsters that lurk in the dark.

Frobscottle: a nice drink with soft bubbles

Sometimes a drink is so refreshing, tasty and fulfilling that just calling it a "drink" doesn't do it justice. Roald Dahl again has the perfect word: "frobscottle". So when a drink tastes extra good, you could say, "This frobscottle is absolutely gloriumptious!"

Splitzwiggled: caught

When someone is caught out doing something they shouldn't be, they have been "splitzwiggled".That's far more fun to say than "caught" isn't it?

Oh, and if you are wondering, the sentence we used earlier, "This swatchscollop tastes absolutely filthsome," means: this disgusting food is yucky. 

To celebrate Roald Dahl and his wonderful world, can you come up with your own Gobblefunk words? Here at Kumon, we made a word for that feeling you get when you're totally focused on what you're doing and your brain just connects: Nogwhizzing!