Family Wordsmithing: Ferhoodled

confused, perplexed, ferhoodled

Ok, so I love words. I do. I’m a word-a-holic. I love the way a good word feels when it slips off your tongue. I love getting the word of the day e-mailed directly to me from But I especially love finding words that say just what you mean…words that can stand alone and yet say everything. I have found that using the right word can literally save a sentence otherwise doomed to boredom. It is one of the greatest pleasures I know to stumble upon that perfect word.

So I want to share with you my very favorite word on the planet: ferhoodled. 

Yes, ferhoodled. Go ahead, don’t be embarrassed – say it. Say it out loud. Now say it with a little pizazz. Admit it…it’s a great word!

I happened upon it while reading a work by Beverly Lewis and instantly fell in love. The official definition (as per, of course!) is to confuse or mix up as in: Don’t ferhoodle things in that drawer! But the way I read it in context the first time was in describing a woman as so completely ferhoodled that she couldn’t do anything quite right. 

Now that is absolutely fabulous!!! Ferhoodled. Don’t we all get that way now and again, not just confused or mixed up but just completely and utterly ferhoodled?

Since my brilliant discovery, my family has adopted ‘ferhoodled’ into our household vocabulary. This word has changed our outlook on minor infractions and added some fun to the little conundrums (another great word, by the way!) that pop up here and there. 

Yesterday, for example, I found the ice-cream in the refrigerator all liquidy and seeping onto the shelf. I did my usual rant through the house looking for the culprit with fire in my eyes and melted mint chocolate chip still fresh on my fingers. I found my son in his room with a green tell-tale ring around his mouth and said “Aha!” He just looked at me and my sticky hands with big eyes as the realization of what he had done set in and said: “I was having dessert with my homework and the long division completely ferhoodled me!” 


I get that. 

I’ve been there more than once, like when I found my car keys in my sock drawer…

We all get confused and stressed out now and then…wouldn’t it be nice to just throw your hands up in the air and say: Aaahhh, I’m so ferhoodled!

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