Wonder of Words

I remember when I first learned about the Welsh language. My then boyfriend was in Wales studying abroad while I was in Spain and I stayed with him for two weeks. One of my favorite souvenirs are mini language dictionaries and that started on that trip. The spellings and sounds were so foreign I was fascinated. I also remember thinking it was weird and wonderful that the language contained words that meant nothing, in other words had no meaning, but were used just for the sake of lyricism. I wondered why we, English-speakers, didn’t do that.

But we do.

I can’t say we do it for the same reasons, but we do have words that have no meaning and use them just for the sake of it. The silliest example I can think of is…


It’s usually preceded by gee or golly gee as part of an interjection. But without the gee, whillikers means nothing. When I was little, I thought a whillikers was a type of mythical rabbit, or something with long whiskers that twitched when confused or curious.

Image by Melani Marfeld from Pixabay

Know any words without meaning? Did you give them meaning?