I came up with the term "sillification" to describe a linguistic phenomenon I've perceived in American English among young people. I was curious what others thought about it.


A. The linguistic phenomenon in the US whereby English words are altered to form a silly-sounding variation in informal speech.

Sillification contrasts with the widespread phenomenon of forming abbreviations in American English, as words formed via sillification are often the same length as, or longer than, their original counterparts.

B. Words created through such a process.

There are various sub-sections of the sillification category, including:

  1. "Cutes-ifications" — Words that are made to sound cutesy, usually by emulating baby talk.
  2. Adjectival/Noun Sillifications — Silly-sounding adjectives and nouns usually formed by adding a suffix to, or another word within, an existing word.
  3. Silly Mispronunciations — Words that are purposely mispronounced for a silly-sounding effect.


1. Regular Sillifications:

  1. “Redonculous” (ridiculous)
  2. “Cray cray” or “cray” (crazy)
  3. “Driz-unk” (drunk)
  4. “Preggers” (pregnant)
  5. “Funzies” (fun)
  6. “Coolio” (cool)
  7. “Bi-atch” (bitch)
  8. “Crack-a-lackin'” (crackin')
  9. “Absotutely” (absolutely)
  10. “Dillio” (deal)

2. Cutes-ifications:

  1. “Tum tum” (tummy)
  2. “Din din” (dinner)
  3. “Doggie” (dog)
  4. “Kitty” (cat)
  5. “Horsey” (horse)
  6. “Thingies” (things)
  7. “Undies” (underwear)

3. Adjectival/Noun Sillifications:

  1. Adding "-licious" to the ends of words, e.g. “bootylicious”
  2. Adding "-tastic" or "-tacular" to the ends of words, e.g. “shit-tastic,” “craptacular”
  3. Adding "-ball" to the ends of words, e.g. “goofball,” “cornball,” “sketchball”
  4. Adding "fuckin'" to the middle of an adjective, e.g. “fan-fuckin-tastic”

4. Silly Mispronunciations:

  1. “Par-tay” (party)
  2. “Boo-tay” (booty)
  3. “Liberry” (library)
  4. “Tar-jay” (Target)