noun \kə-ˈnən-drəm\

: a confusing or difficult problem

Full Definition of CONUNDRUM

1 :  a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun

2a :  a question or problem having only a conjectural answer

b :  an intricate and difficult problem

 See conundrum defined for English-language learners »

See conundrum defined for kids »

Examples of CONUNDRUM

<the conundrum of how an ancient people were able to build such massive structures without the benefit of today’s knowledge and technology>

… giving parents a wealth of educational options sometimes presents a familiar inner-city conundrum: What if all your choices are bad ones? —Katherine Boo, New Yorker, 9 Apr. 2001



origin unknown

First Known Use: 1645

Related to CONUNDRUM


closed bookmysteryenigmahead-scratcher,mystificationpuzzlepuzzlementriddlesecret

Related Words


Yesterday as I was traveling up the highway to get a special little guy this word came to the conversation.  There actually have been a couple of examples of this lately so I am just going to put them out there for your consideration and contemplation.


The first example is really a question.  Why do we say Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Eater, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Fourth of July, Happy Labor Day, Happy Halloween, and Happy Thanksgiving when we end the year with Merry Christmas?  Can you answer this?  I cannot.

Further in the United Kingdom they do say Happy Christmas.  They have no Fourth of July or Thanksgiving of course.  I am not sure they celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Days either.

The only discussion I could find on the web was about actually using the word Christmas instead of Holidays.  That is not what I am discussing.  I am talking about the use of Happy for all holidays except Christmas and there we simply are Merry.  Answers?

The SECOND thought put forth I found fascinating.  I challenged my passenger to start their own blog as they are so very curious and knowledgeable as well.  In the meantime I will use our discussion to satisfy my own curiosity, further my knowledge and have a topic on which to expound!

Why when referring to some lakes the word Lake comes first and others it comes last.  We could not think of a lake in Maine that the word lake did not come last: Sebago Lake, Long Lake, Moosehead Lake, Echo Lake, and Eagle Lake for example.  Even the Ponds it seems had their names last – Long Pond, Chris’s Pond, Deer Pond to name a couple I know personally.

That started a discussion that ended with me doing some research. Of course we discussed that the Great Lakes all have the word lake first.  With the exception of three New York state also has the name lake appear after the name of the body of the water.  I started spotting other areas of the country.

As I looked Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California and Idaho to name a few had a mix though most of the bodies of water had the word lake last.  Massachusetts, Maryland, Arkansas, Washington and Florida for the most part used the word Lake first.  I could not check them all and simply did a quick look.

I googled the question “Why does the word Lake appear before some lakes and not others?”  There were few answers.  Yahoo answer suggested it could be from origin or size.  The lakes I looked at did not qualify either way.  There was one interesting blog reference about lakes in Arkansas and I have copied the link below.

For me it is still a conundrum and the question still is why?


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