Comedy is incredibly important. And although sense of humor may vary with each person that you talk to, it’s nice to be able to describe exactly how something makes you feel.
England, for example, is famous for a drier, more sarcastic sense of humor. In the United States, you’ll probably encounter more obvious jokes or even slapstick comedy (a type of broad physical comedy involving exaggerated, boisterous actions, farce, violence and activities which may exceed the boundaries of common sense). And in Australia, a unique blend of the two with a twist of their own unique “Aussieness” is added!
This article is going to show you exactly how to describe everything that makes you laugh in English.
Are you ready to laugh your socks off? Well here are 20 different terms for FUNNY to help you get started!
These terms and expressions are organized from drier humor to those that describe things that make you laugh out loud (LOL).
This is a cognate from Latin languages that exists, but is very uncommon. In English it means something that “diverts” your attention and entertains you.
- Example: I don’t think Breaking Bad is that funny, but it’s certainly diverting.
Something you enjoy that makes you happy (not always funny)
- Cat videos on YouTube are entertaining: I could spend hours watching them!
Another formal term for funny, similar to diverting or entertaining
- Reading Calvin and Hobbes comics is amusing
Probably not something that would actually make you laugh, but that is funny from an intelligent standpoint.
- Example: British humor is rather droll even if a lot of Americans don’t understand it.
Similar to droll, but more commonly used.
- Example: Telling witty jokes is really difficult.
A formal term describing something that has a funny nature
- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is very comical once you understand it.
A hoot –
Literally the sound an owl makes (think of someone laughing like this)
- Example: That joke that Josh told us yesterday was a hoot!
A laugh –
Similar to a hoot. Often used sarcastically.
- Example: Making me walk all the way to the market in the rain because you didn’t feel like driving was a laugh.
A scream –
Similar to a hoot but it gives even more emphasis
- The Hangover is a scream! I can’t believe you haven’t seen it.
Also: LMAO (laughing my ass off)/LMFAO (laughing my fucking ass off)/ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing)/haha (how you write out the sound of a laugh)
All of these are abbreviations generally used in chats that have (unfortunately) made their way into spoken English. So, instead of saying that something that someone said is funny, you can simply say L.O.L. or LOL (pronounced Loll), or any of the variations.
- Example: “Did you hear about the guy who lost the whole left side of his body in an accident? He’s all right now.” “Lol”
often someone who is funny because of the foolish way in which they act.
- Example: Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg are so goofy in the Dick in a Box video.
Similar to goofy
- Example: My dad always gets silly when he drinks vodka–it’s embarrassing.
- Example: “In Spain I find that I drink more alcohol because wine is cheaper than water” “Haha, that’s rich!”
A way of describing a funny situation or joke.
- Example: “A homeless guy tried to steal Dave’s phone, but when he saw how crappy it was, he said never mind.” “Haha, that’s great!”
when you see something that is so funny that you couldn’t set a price on seeing it.
- Example: Seeing George’s pants fall down during his speech was priceless! The whole audience couldn’t stop laughing.
something that makes you laugh so hard that it feels like the sides of your torso will break (this term might be considered a little old-fashioned today).
- Example: That comedian’s jokes are side-splitting! My ribs still hurt from laughing so much.
(Someone/something) cracks me up
- Example: Jenna Marbles cracks me up–I’ve see all of her videos.
Make (someone) die of laughter –
Something that makes you laugh so much that you think you’ll die
- Example: I die of laughter whenever Homer does something stupid in the Simpsons!
- Example: Barney from How I Met Your Mother is outrageous!
Like outrageous, something that makes you laugh like a crazy person, or literally someone suffering from hysteria.
- Example: Have you ever seen Ricky Gervais do stand-up comedy? He’s hysterical! a
Like hysterical and outrageous
- Example: Have you ever seen Natalie Portman rap? It’s one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen, who would have know?
Now Use What You’ve Learned!
Real life vocabulary like this is only really useful if you actually use it. So remember, put your new favorite words in Anki and use them whenever you get the chance to speak English! Joining the RealLife International Community is a great way to do this!
If you enjoyed this article, then remember to sign up for our email list at the top of the page, so you can get updated on everything we have to offer you!