Learn English – If you can be “discombobulated”, is it possible to be “combobulated”


I've often heard the word "discombobulated" used. But I've never heard of something being "combobulated", and it's not in any dictionary I've looked at. If "combobulated" is not word, where did "discombobulated" come from?

Best Answer

It's a slang (originally American) word of unknown origin that goes back well over a century. Probably just a fanciful alliteration of discommode, discomfit, discompose, etc.

It certainly doesn't derive from some pre-existing word combobulate. I think normally you'd be understood if you tried to use that 'back-formation', but I don't think it will catch on.