Sunday Is Fun Word Day: Flibbertigibbet!

I always just assumed it was a made-up word -“flibbertigibbet”, sort of like ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’.

But I came across flibbertigibbet twice today and given the source of where I came across it the second time, it made me think that it might be a real word. And that is not the only coincidence I want to share.

It started when I was exchanging comments with Robbie at Roberta Writes. She had written a post about a couple of her favorite songs, one of which happened to be “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. I left a comment saying my two favorite songs from that movie are Edelweiss (which is actually sung twice – I have trouble picking which version I like better) and the Lonely Goatherd.

Anyway, this is not meant to be a post about The Sound of Music.

However, Robbie then replied that she also likes the song Maria, since she said it reminds her of herself. And that’s where things get interesting.

I thought I would reply to her with a couple of lines from the song, and I somewhat randomly chose the following:

A flibbertigibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

You can hear the line at 1:02 in the following video, and like I said earlier, I just assumed flibbertigibbet was a nonsense word.

But then later in the day I was going back through a book I had just finished, My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy. I was looking for a certain passage, and I came across this sentence:

You’re nothing but a knave and a flibbertigibbet,” Gene said, his eyes fixed on the nurse’s reaction.

Once I saw the word in a Pat Conroy book, it gave it immediate legitimacy, so I looked it up, and here is what I found:

flibbertigibbet: a frivolous, flighty, or excessively talkative person

So there it is, a new word for my vocabulary, even though the word itself sounds a bit frivolous. And what a coincidence to come across such a frivolous word twice in one day.

And did you notice the other coincidence?

Flibbertigibbet and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious both appear in movies featuring Julie Andrews!

*image from Let’s Move Quad Cities

52 thoughts on “Sunday Is Fun Word Day: Flibbertigibbet!

  1. A fun post! Who knew that was a real word! 🙂 I think we mentioned our mutual love for the Sound of Music before. I always enjoyed Mary Poppins too!
    There is something so beautiful about the Edleweiss song and the “Maria”song always made me laugh. I could identify with it as well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right! I love all the songs in Sound of Music!
        I really liked the Feed the Birds scene in Mary Poppins and I used to snap my fingers wanting my toys to hop in the toy chest like they did for Mary Poppins!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I know a few flibbertigibbets, but I had never heard that word until now. I’m going to have to find a way to use that word this week. Hmm, which should I choose? (1) You are such a flibbertigibbet. Have you considered running for public office? (2) Parting is such sweet sorrow, but since you’re such a flibbertigibbet, I think I’ll get over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like you’ve got a couple of possibilities there 🙂 Maybe you could sneak it into your book… young adults might like the word…


      1. Camelot, The Sound of Music, Hamilton, Wicked, Jersey Boys (there’s a lot of great musicals that I have yet to see, so the list could change…)


  3. OMG that’s a real word?! I had no idea thank you for sharing this information. I will definitely be using this word in the future mostly just to throw people off lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would have to agree that running into that word twice in one day is more than coincidence. It was crying out for mainstream acceptance and you did not disappoint with your post. I seem to have met a few of these flibbertigibbets in my time! Great post, Jim!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. you’ve uncovered a Julie Andrews conspiracy theory! interesting word, and twice in one day? that’s no coincidence !!)) I will try to use it in a sentence this very day, and of course, look over my shoulder for Julie and her squad.

    p.s. I loved, loved that book, and am a huge Pat Conroy fan.I listened to him read it on an audio book and then sat down and read the book, and what a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julie Andrews will always be my favorite all-time female singer, great voice, and so many great songs.

      And the book was phenomenal; I plan to write a separate post about it. I can’t imagine having read all the books he has read, and to then be able to describe them all in such beautiful terms. He is the best writer I have read, but he has motivated me to go back and read some classics – I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. He mentioned War and Peace as his all-time favorite – I wish he had picked something else, but I’ll give it a go… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. she has always had a lovely voice. i loved pat conroy and planned to write him a letter to tell me how much i loved his writing and that this book was so inspirational to me. soon after, he passed away. another good lesson in not putting things off…. i read war and peace a couple of summers back and i ended up enjoying myself

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great word! One person comes to mind immediately. The term “flim-flam man” also applies there. When you mention the song Maria, my first thought was West Side Story. Sound of Music Maria is a great song too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know the word, probably because I’m old and British and our heritage and language are full of quaint little quirks like this. It is often – but not always – used of women, but I think it’s much classier than calling someone a bimbo or an airhead!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are websites and Twitter accounts which share funny- sounding old words which have gone out of regular use. There are loads of these words – the language has been around a while 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, that’s the key. I’m sure it will catch people off guard. And be aware that Clive commented that it is usually associated with women…


  8. Great post! What a meandering path you have had with this word. And I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the Goatherd song, too. I’ve used the word flibbertigibbets before but like Clive above, I think that’s the British influence. And I had to double-check my spelling! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.