11 Grammatical Words and Terms That Sound Dirty

While we at the Riot are taking this lovely summer week off to rest (translation: read by the pool/ocean/on our couches), we’re re-running some of our favorite posts of 2014. Enjoy this Best Of, and we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming on Monday, July 7th!

This post originally ran April 17th.



Because I have the maturity level of an eight-year-old, here’s a list of grammar terms and words that sound dirty. Use them to excite the grammar lover in your life.

What it sounds like: Getting it on. “We couldn’t sleep – the neighbors were making too much noise interrobanging all night.”

What it actually means: An interrobang is a punctuation mark ‽ designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question (I like that in the definition I read, they include ‘rhymes with orangutan.’)

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: Underthings. “You could see her dipthong peeking out of the top of her jeans.”

What it actually means: A gliding monosyllabic speech sound (as the vowel combination at the end of toy) that starts at or near the articulatory position for one vowel and moves to or toward the position of another.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

Dangling participle
What it sounds like
: Naughty bits.

What it actually means: A participle intended to modify a noun that is not actually present in the text.

(Definition: Oxford Dictionaries)

What it sounds like: The heat caused by rubbing up against one another.

What it actually means: A consonant characterized by frictional passage of the expired breath through a narrowing at some point in the vocal tract.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: “We tried more appositions than they show in the Kama Sutra.”

What it actually means: A grammatical construction in which two usually adjacent nouns having the same referent stand in the same syntactical relation to the rest of a sentence.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: Well…I don’t know, but it has the word ‘ass’ in it. Teehee.

What it actually means: Change of a sound in speech so that it becomes identical with or similar to a neighboring sound.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: Those special visits that inmates receive in prison.

What it actually means: To join together. Wait…

(Definition: The Free Dictionary)

What it sounds like: To give a vigorous rutting.

What it actually means: Of or pertaining to a compound sentence or compound-complex sentence.


What it sounds like: To ask for sex. “Maura threw her drink in Eric’s face after he prepositioned her at the bar.”

What it actually means: A function word that typically combines with a noun phrase to form a phrase which usually expresses a modification or predication.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: Hyperventilating. “Their vigorous rutting left them both hyphenating.”

What it actually means: To connect (as two words) or divide (as a word at the end of a line of print) with a hyphen.

(Definition: Merriam-Webster Online)

What it sounds like: What you kiss with. “They pressed their ellipsis together hard.”

What it actually means: The omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.

(Definition: Oxford Dictionaries)