16.09.2016 Word of the Week: Oompa Loompa


This week’s word was a difficult one to choose. The subject itself was easy – it would have been Cardiff-born children’s author Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday this week – but selecting just one word from Dahl’s weird and wonderful gobblefunk (lexicon) left us feeling muggled (confused).

In fact, the scale of this jumpsquiffling (colossal) task was quite frightsome (frightening).

But in the end we decided to take our cue from the Oxford English Dictionary, which this week added six phizz-whizzing (brilliant) words and phrases created or made famous by Dahl.


These are:

Dahlesque – Implying something has the characteristics of Dahl’s work.

Golden Ticket – Dahl wasn’t the first to put the words together but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory popularised the phrase. The OED’s definition is: “Ticket; one that grants the holder a valuable or exclusive prize, experience, opportunity, etc.”

Human bean – The BFG’s description of human beings.

Oompa Loompa – Willy Wonka’s workers in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Scrumdiddlyumptious – Delicious. From The BFG.

Witching Hour – From The BFG, described as: “A special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world to themselves.”


They’re all whoopsy-splunkers (fantastic), but ultimately we plumped for Oompa Loompa.

These mischievous “knee high beings from Loompaland”, who sang songs as they worked in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, left an indelible mark on the mind of every child who read the book or watched the two film adaptations.

All together now: “Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do…”


To celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, Cardiff is set to be transformed into the City of the Unexpected this weekend; a magical celebration of the spirit of Roald Dahl, created on the streets of the city that made him. For more information click here.