The word “gullible” is in the dictionary.

true confessions - gullibleThis post about the word Gullible is inspired by my friend Holly.

She was teasing me on twitter the other day and said

“Did you know the word gullible is not in the dictionary?”

It’s one of those I-can’t-win questions.

If I said “Yes it is” then she’d come back with some smarty response about the only way I’d know for certain it to look.

If I say “No it’s not” then I look illiterate.


easily deceived or cheated.

I’m not gullible now.  But I used to be.

Holly dragged the confession out of me, so I decided to tell the whole ugly truth here.  Before she has a chance to write it up on HER blog.

When I was EIGHT – the conversation went something like this:

Brother: Did you know that the word “gullible” is not in the dictionary?

Me:  It is too!  I’ll get the dictionary and show you!

So I proceeded to drag the dictionary off the shelf and looked up the word “gullible.”  As expected, it was right there in black and white. It might as well have had my photo pasted next to it.

At this point, my brother is rolling on the floor howling with laughter.

(this was in the old days, before acronyms, so he couldn’t just ROFLOL)

They had to explain to me why he was laughing.

I didn’t get the joke.

Apparently, I hadn’t looked up the word “sarcasm” yet.


The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

Holy said she mastered the word “sarcasm” at age 3.

But she’s a good friend.

When I confessed my childhood innocence, she said:


Just out of curiosity, am I the only person to actually look the word “gullible” up in the dictionary?  Has anyone else been caught with this joke?  

Or are you all saying “No, Susan… It’s just you.”


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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. LOL! So funny! … Happy Saturday Sharefest Day!

    • I had fun writing it, so obviously I thought it was funny too. Then again, I wrote it on one of those days when I went straight from coffee to wine… so there’s no telling what else I thought was funny. 🙂

  2. {Melinda} I prefer to think of myself as “naive.” It makes one think of “innocence.” While gullible might be confused with a dim bulb. 🙂 And we’re both too fabulous and witty to fit that description!

    • We totally ARE too fabulous and to be confused with a dim bulb! I think “trusting” might also fit. That’s a good thing, right?

  3. There is a teacher at my school that gets the kids with this one every year.

    In my younger life, I was very gullible too. One time, my high school boyfriend gave me his “lucky penny” to put in my suit strap before a big swim meet that I was nervous about. He told me this whole story about how he swam with it in his first 3 years of meets as a kid. After the race, he told me he found it on the ground outside the pool right before the meet. Haha. I guess that’s a nice kind of trickery?

    • The lucky penny story is almost like that “magic feather” story from Dumbo. It’s almost sweet, but I’m sure at the time it didn’t feel good to you.

  4. When I was 5, my brother brought me a beautiful, round, red fruit and told me to eat it, saying it was a berry. It was actually a small red chilli.

    Do me a favor, and google the word ‘askew’. It’s really cool!!

    • I googled it. That’s hysterical! I now have a new party trick.

      We must have shared brothers. Mine did something mean with chocolate pudding.

  5. this is great babe. Thanks for your honesty and truthfully, I WOULD HAVE LOOKED TOO!

  6. Holly Jahangiri says:

    I got my kids. 😉

    First time I heard that one, I was far too old to fall for it (and had probably already SEEN it in a dictionary -you know me, I’d have checked if I hadn’t!)

    I do go down the rabbit hole far too often in the name of fact-checking things that sound so much like horsefeathers they have to BE horsefeathers. (See how I cleaned up that t-shirt idea?)

    Fun post – glad I could help you illustrate it! 😉

    • But you tried to get me with it. Hmmm… Are you calling ME “childlike?”

      I confess, I’m looking forward to being able to pull this one on my own kids.

      But I totally get the rabbit hole thing. How else would I end up googling horsefeathers to find the origin of that very odd phrase.

      If you haven’t, google “askew” – it was worth it.

  7. While I can’t remember this ever happening to me, I am pretty sure that someone could have gotten me with this at some point in my life. I can picture it all too easily!

  8. Ha ha ha. I think all of us have probably fallen for the ‘gullible is not in the dictionary’ trick at least once. That you did it at a very early age, speaks well of you 🙂

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