What’s a Mouthful?

There are many words that seem easy to guess the meaning of… but then there’s a second meaning or an unexpected way to use it. Here is a fun example:


As a countable noun, a mouthful is a word used to express quantity – usually food/water. How much food can you fit into your mouth? That’s a mouthful.

E.g My friend has a big mouth so he takes big mouthfuls of food when eating.

You can take a mouthful or eat a mouthful. You can also try a mouthful if the food is something new! And remember, you try/eat/take a mouthful of a food.

Or you don’t need to mention the food:

E.g It was a delicious meal. We enjoyed every mouthful (source)

But wait!

There are many words in English with a regular meaning and an informal meaning. Usually, the more commonly used a word, the more different meanings exist.

As an adjective, a mouthful is when something is difficult or complicated to say. For example, try to say this sentence:

She sells seashells at the seashore.

Does your tongue get confused? That’s because that sentence is a mouthful!

The longest word in the English Language is antidisestablishmentarianism and that is a total mouthful! (Check the link if you want to try to say it!)

A mouthful can also be a name that’s maybe hard for you to pronounce. If it’s confusing your tongue, it’s a mouthful! And it may be funny when you try to say it.

Speaking of fun and funny, have you seen my post on the different meanings for fun and funny?

Want more help with learning English?

I provide professional one-to-one Skype lessons designed to improve your English and give you confidence! Contact me for more information.


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