Weekly Word: Flummox


It’s that time of week again where I share a word that I find interesting.

This week’s Weekly Word is: flummox


Part of Speech

verb (informal)

Word Forms

  • flummoxes (3rd person singular present tense)
  • flummoxed (past participle)
  • flummoxing (present participle)




To perplex someone greatly: bewilder

Word Origin

From the mid-19th Century, of uncertain origin but probably from British dialect – possibly from flummock ‘to make untidy, confuse’, a word recorded in western counties and the north Midlands.


baffle, bemuse, bewilder, confound, confuse, discombobulate, dumbfound, flabbergast, fluster, mystify, perplex, puzzle, stump


clarify, clear up, elucidate, enlighten, explain

Use the Word

Usually I just write a little sentence for each form of the word. This week I got a bit carried away.


Puzzle Pieces

“Love life? I’m sure you know by now, Katharine, that I have no love life.”

“Maybe you just need to look a bit harder. You might find something more than you think.”

Amelia loved a good puzzle. She liked it when something would flummox her, even if it was only for a short while. Patterns had always fascinated her, and her ability to spot them had been the foundation upon which she had built her whole career. But it was the patterns and puzzles that appeared in numbers that were her forte. As Katharine left her office, Amelia really wished that she was able to work out the puzzles of people.

She shook her head, dismissing Katharine’s bizarre words, and returned to her work.


“I just don’t know what to do, Kat. She flummoxes me.”

James threw himself down on the sofa as he poured his woes out to his long-suffering friend. Kat was always willing to listen to him bemoan his love life – or the lack thereof.

Amelia worked in the office down the hall from them. She was a wonderful mathmetician and became so wonderfully animated whenever she spoke on a subject that interested her. Unfortunately, she always seemed completely oblivious to his attentions. For months, now, he had been trying to work out how to get her to go out for a date.

“You just need to talk to her, James,” Kat said. “Find something that you both have in common. I don’t know, talk about puzzles or something! You just need to get to know her. And let her get to know you.”

James pulled a cushion over his face as he groaned. “Aargh. That’s easier said than done.”


He had to admit it, he was flummoxed.  No matter how he looked at them, the numbers just wouldn’t balance. He’d been studying them for hours now. James glanced out of the window at the sun that had recently risen above the line of the houses opposite. Make that, nearly all night now. But he had moved no closer to an answer. According to the research team’s overview, the results of the trials had been overwhelmingly positive. The further he’d dug into the data, however, the more he’d come to recognise that something, somewhere, just wasn’t quite right. He rubbed at his aching temples.

What he needed were a pair of fresh eyes to take a look.

James smiled.

And he knew the perfect person, with the most perfect pair of eyes, to ask.


James’ presence at her door was a flummoxing sight.

She’d barely even sat down at her desk with her first coffee of the day when a knock had sounded. She didn’t know who she had expected to see, but it certainly wasn’t him. He’d barely shown any interest in speaking to her before, never mind actually sought her out. She wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or suspicious as he smiled at her in greeting.

“I have a puzzle that I need some help in solving,” he told her.

Intrigued, Amelia invited him inside.


If you would like to join in with this activity in any way, feel free to do so. You could either share a Weekly Word of your own – this week beginning with the letter F – or you could use my word, or Millie Thom’s, as inspiration for a post. This could be a piece of poetry, flash fiction, or any form of prose you choose. Just share a link in the comments so we can see what you’ve been up to!

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