Almanac Humour: Words That Make You Squirm


Words That Make You Squirm


Do you have words that make you feel funny, squirmy, uncomfortable, and you don’t want to say them out loud or use them in any form of writing?


I do – and the one that immediately springs to mind is tummy.


Consider its use in the following sentences:


They were giving away free glasses of Best’s Great Western Bin O Shiraz at the bar, and in our haste to get there JTH accidentally elbowed me in the tummy.


I was standing between Darren and a frosty pint of Chainsaw Cleansing Australian Ale and he went to grab it but, miscalculating, poked me in the tummy with his index finger.


I challenged Dips to a footrace from one end of Central Park to the other and when I took off, I felt something ‘go’ in my tummy.


Peter, nicknamed ‘The Rock’ (for obvious reasons), made a witty remark about Worcestershire Sauce, and I laughed so hard that my tummy hurt.


Luke put me at second slip and I was lucky that the cherry hit me in the tummy or I would have dropped the shiny red sphere.


I asked Colin if he knew of any poem that had the word tummy in it.


See? What an odd, shuddery, juvenile word tummy is. Makes me feel all sort of gooey and … bleh!


I think I’m about to puke. (Now there’s another really weird word!)


Man with sore tummy. (Source Wikimedia Commons.)



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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. moist

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Errrrghhh … yes, I agree, Dips – I find that one squirm-inducing, too!

  3. Kardinia. Cattery. Constipation.

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Ha! Thanks, PB, for this thematically-linked response, though I’m not 100% sure how the third word relates to the other two (long-past grand finals record, perhaps?).

    At any rate, feline laxatives are available – I know, I use them occasionally … for my old cat, I mean!

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Of course, JTH, I could have said Best’s Great Western Thomson Family Shiraz – but feel there’s something to be said for mentioning the company’s wonderful, iconic Bin O “regular issue” (for want of a much better description) wine, rather than what amounts to a “Reserve” release!

  6. Luke Reynolds says


  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Always on the look out for a good second slip Kevin! Doesn’t matter how you take them…

  8. Kevin Densley says

    Sheed … that’s a new one to me, Luke! Dare I ask, what does it mean?

    Re second slip, when I played a little bit of bush cricket many years back (Deakin Uni – Southern Districts league – other teams included Lorne, Airey’s Inlet, Anglesea, Mt Duneed, Jan Juc, Torquay), I often fielded in the gully. Occasionally, I’d even open my eyes as the ball flew in my direction.

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    It (I can’t bring myself to write that word again) means a 5 point loss in the 2018 Grand Final. I squirm at the mention of that day, and am still traumatised by that event.

  10. Kevin Densley says

    Ah yes – I understand now.

    We won’t mention the word again!

  11. Daryl Schramm says


  12. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Daryl. That’s an interesting word. My first thought was the meaning in boxing terms – but of course in the current Covid situation it has a particular point (pardon the pun), doesn’t it?

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